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Over 10 killed in suicide attack on Afghan security forces: officials

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) – A suicide attacker blew himself up near an Afghan security forces vehicle on Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, mostly civilians, officials said, in the latest deadly violence to rock the country.

The explosion in the eastern city of Jalalabad also left at least four people wounded and set a nearby petrol station alight, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP.

Eight civilians were among the dead, Khogyani added. Some of the victims were brought to hospital with severe burns, health director Najibullah Kamawal said, confirming the casualty toll.

“I saw a big ball of fire that threw people away. The people were burning,” Esmatullah, who witnessed the incident, told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack in restive Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan.

The Islamic State group has claimed a series of high-casualty suicide attacks in the province in recent weeks, as US and Afghan forces continue offensive operations against the group.

While the Taliban is Afghanistan’s largest militant group, IS has a relatively small but potent presence mainly in the east and north of the country.

Tuesday’s attack comes a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed “hope” for peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban, during an unannounced visit to Kabul.

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