Afghanistan: 34 people killed in two suicide bombings

Dozens of soldiers killed and wounded after attackers detonate vehicles full of explosives.

Afghan National Army soldiers outside a military compound after a car bomb blast on the outskirts of Ghazni city. [Mustafa Andaleb/Reuters] (Reuters)

At least 34 people have been killed in two separate suicide bombings that targeted a military base and a provincial chief.

In eastern Ghazni province, 31 soldiers were killed and 24 others wounded on Sunday when an attacker drove a military vehicle full of explosives onto an army commando base before detonating it, according to an official in Afghanistan’s national security council, who spoke anonymously because he was not permitted to speak directly to the media.

The attack was also confirmed by interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian, though he did not provide details on casualties.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters news agency, did not confirm or deny responsibility.

Afghanistan has seen a spate of car bombings over the last few months, despite peace talks currently under way between the Kabul government and the Taliban in Qatar.

This is the first time the two sides hold face-to-face talks to try to end the country’s decades-long war.

Afghan National Army soldiers keep watch outside the military compound on the outskirts of Ghazni [Mustafa Andaleb/Reuters]

Taliban talks

In southern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber targeted the convoy of provincial council chief Attajan Haqbayat in Zubal, killing at least three people and wounding 12 others, including children.

Haqbayat survived the Sunday attack with minor injuries, though one of his bodyguards was among those killed, said provincial police spokesman Hikmatullah Kochai.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Attacks have killed more than 50 people in the capital Kabul in recent weeks, including two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

The three Kabul attacks were claimed by the armed group ISIL (ISIS), but Afghan officials blamed the Taliban – which has denied any involvement.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies