In Afghanistan, 11 people were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near a bus
Officials said that a roadside bomb struck a bus in Afghanistan, killing at least 11 civilians, including four women and three children, in the latest strike targeting passenger cars in the violence-wracked country. The attack took place in the western province of Badghis on Saturday evening, increasing fears of new violence in the months ahead as the US military withdraws its last remaining troops from the country.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, Badghis Governor Hessamuddin Shams has accused the Taliban of planting it. Khodadad Tayeb, another provincial official, verified the death toll and claimed the bus crashed into a valley after being hit by the bomb.
The attack on Saturday came after a spate of explosions in Kabul this week that targeted passenger buses. The extremist Islamic State claimed responsibility for two bus strikes in Kabul.
Government forces and the Taliban have been fighting in near-daily engagements across the rough countryside in recent weeks, with the insurgents focusing on gaining fresh territory and assaulting checkpoints and outposts around Kabul.
On Saturday, the Taliban announced that they had “taken the district of Deh Yak” in Ghazni province, roughly 150 kilometers south of Kabul.
The officials stated that their personnel had only “relocated” from the region. Ghazni is strategically placed on the main road connecting Kabul and Kandahar, the Taliban’s previous stronghold in the south. Fighting between the two opposing parties occurs on a regular basis in the province.
In 2018, the Taliban briefly took control of the provincial capital Ghazni, which shares the same name as the province, in an all-out onslaught that resulted in the destruction of many government facilities. As the US military continues to remove its final 2,500 troops from Afghanistan, violence has increased across the country.
President Joe Biden has directed the troops to finish the withdrawal by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Experts believe that once the Americans leave, a number of extremist groups may remain in Afghanistan.