January 20, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 9 months ago

Car bomb attack kills eight security force members in Afghanistan's south

KABUL (Reuters) - A car bomb attack on a convoy of the governor of Afghanistan’s southern Logar province killed at least eight Afghan security force members on Sunday morning but left the provincial chief unharmed, local officials said.

Shahpoor Ahmadzai, the spokesman for Logar’s provincial police, said the bomber detonated an explosives-packed car close to the governor’s convoy on a major highway between Logar and the capital Kabul.

“Unfortunately 10 others are wounded, and the number of casualties may rise” Ahmadzai said, adding that the provincial chief of the country’s intelligence agency was also in the convoy but unhurt in the attack.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement that the group was responsible for the blast and that a “large number” of Afghan special forces had been killed or wounded.

Logar, located around 75 kms (46 miles) from Kabul, is known as a strategic gateway to the capital and is vulnerable to attacks due to the Taliban’s active presence in most areas of the province.

The militant group have ramped up attacks in strategic provinces in recent months in their battle to expel foreign forces, topple the Western-backed government and restore their version of hardline Islamic law, even as peace talks with the United States ramp up.

Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi in Kabul, Ahmad Sultan in Jalalabad, writing by Abdul Qadir Sediqi; Editing by Michael Perry

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