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Attack On Afghan Provincial Government Compound

13 Jul 2020 Radio Free Europe

Afghan security forces have clashed with militants in the northern Afghan province of Samangan after a car bomb exploded near a government compound.

Abdul Latif Ebrahimi, the governor of Samangan, told RFE/RL that several assailants inside the National Security Directorate, the main intelligence agency, and a nearby municipal building in the capital, Aybek, had been killed in the clashes.

He did not elaborate on how many people may have died in the incident, the number of casualties, but added that the blast was very powerful and that even the windows were broken 100 meters away.

"It's a complex attack that started with a car bomb. Clashes with the attackers are still going on," according to Mohammad Sediq Azizi, a spokesman for the provincial government in Samangan.

Reuters quoted the province's health director, Khalil Musadeq, as saying 43 civilians and members of the security forces had been wounded in the attack, with that number expected to rise.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but hundreds of members of Afghanistan’s security forces and civilians have been killed in recent weeks as the Taliban continued to launch attack across the country.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on July 6 warned that the spike in violence poses a "serious" threat to the peace process with the Taliban.

A peace deal signed by the Taliban and the United States in February calls for direct negotiations between the militant group and the Western-backed government in Kabul aimed at putting an end to the nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan.

With reporting by Reuters, dpa

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