Kabul, Jun 3 (efe-epa).- A roadside bomb killed at least 10 civilians on Wednesday in the volatile Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan, officials said.
The blast hit the passenger truck in which the victims were traveling at 10:30 am in Kandahar’s Arghistan district, provincial governor’s spokesperson Bahir Ahmadi told EFE.
“Nine civilians were killed on the spot and one more died of the wounds later. Another four were wounded,” Ahmadi said. The victims were on their way to Kandahar city.
The spokesperson blamed the Taliban for the blast since the militant group uses the roadside bombing tactic to target the security forces.
This is the third roadside bombing that hit civilian vehicles in Kandahar province since the Taliban declared a three-day cease-fire during Eid holidays from May 24 to 26.
At least five civilians were killed in the two previous blasts.
The blasts in Kandahar took place even as the overall violence across Afghanistan has dropped significantly since the cease-fire for the past nine days as compared to the previous weeks.
The goodwill gesture of cease-fire has increased the possibility of intra-Afghan talks between the government and Taliban required under an agreement the insurgent group has signed with the United States.
As per the agreement, the US will pull troops out of Afghanistan by mid-2021 in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.
However, there has already been a delay after the Taliban decided to boycott the negotiations for a necessary prisoner swap before starting the intra-Afghan talks.
The exchange of 5,000 Taliban prisoners for 1,000 of those from the security forces, originally set to commence on Mar. 10, was offset by a dramatic spike in violence and disagreements between the Afghan government and the insurgents.
The insurgents, who had negotiated with the US for a withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, refused to engage in direct talks with Kabul and demanded the release of all 5,000 of their inmates as a precondition.
On the other hand, the Afghan government, which was mostly sidelined from the negotiations, has argued against releasing a large number of Taliban prisoners amid increasing armed violence from the insurgents and without official discussions on the prisoner swap.
The stalemate finally ended on May 28 as the two sides agreed to resume the prisoner swap talks. EFE-EPA