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At Least 10 Killed In Suicide Bombing In Afghan City Of Jalalabad

10 Jul 2018 Gandhara - RFE/RL

A suicide bombing close to a security checkpoint in the Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 10 people, officials say.

The office of the governor of Nangarhar Province said in statement that eight civilians and two security personnel were killed in the attack on July 10.

The explosion caused a fire that damaged shops and vehicles in the area, the statement added.

"Most of the victims were children who were working at a car wash close to the suicide bombing site," said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council.

Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that four others were wounded in the July 10 attack in the eastern city.

The bomber was on foot and targeted the intelligence service, Khogyani said.

He said the attack set a nearby gas station on fire.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group have carried out numerous attacks in Nangarhar Province.

On July 1, a suicide bomber targeted a group of Hindus and Sikhs in Jalalabad, killing at least 19 people and wounding some 20 others.

The July 10 attack comes a day after U.S. Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

"An element of the progress is the capacity that we now have to believe that there is now hope," Pompeo said on July 9 during an unannounced visit to Kabul where he spoke at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

He also repeated assurances that Washington was prepared to participate in direct talks with the Taliban, but repeated that the peace process would be Afghan-led. Support from other neighboring countries would also be needed, he added.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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