A roadside bomb ripped apart a passenger bus east of the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing nine civilians, officials said in the latest attack blamed on the Taliban.
Violence on the ground has escalated in recent weeks, despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country’s bitter war.
The bomb hit the bus around 10:30 a.m. on its way from Kabul to the eastern city of Ghazni, Ghazni governor spokesman Waheedullah Jumazada told AFP.
“Nine civilians including three women were killed in the blast,” he said.
Four policemen were also injured, Ghazni police spokesman Adam Khan Seerat said, accusing the Taliban of the attack.
Despite joining peace talks with the government last month, the Taliban has only escalated the violence in an attempt to influence the negotiations.
The main US envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said earlier this week that the fighting threatened the peace process.
On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks the previous week, accusing warring parties of failing to protect civilians.
“The world must sit down and take note. Afghan civilians are being slaughtered daily,” said Omar Waraich, South Asia official at Amnesty International.
“The international community must make the protection of civilians a fundamental demand for their continued support for the peace process.”
Afghan authorities were also criticized this week after 11 children were killed in an army airstrike that hit a mosque in northeast Takhar province on Wednesday.
Authorities in Kabul insist that those killed were Taliban fighters operating in the area.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)