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Afghanistan war: Taliban bombs election rally and Kabul square

President Ashraf Ghani at an election rally on 13 September 2019

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Reuters

Image caption

President Ashraf Ghani at an earlier election rally

Two separate suicide attacks in Afghanistan have killed at least 48 people and injured dozens others.

In Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul, an election rally where President Ashraf Ghani was due to speak was attacked, and 26 people died.

Another blast, near the US embassy in central Kabul, killed 22 people.

The Taliban said they were behind both attacks. The group has continued a concerted bombing campaign while at the same time taking part in peace talks.

But US President Donald Trump described the negotiations with the Taliban as “dead” earlier this month.

The Taliban refuse to talk to the Afghan government and have vowed to disrupt the presidential election in the country on 28 September.

What is known about the explosions?

Forty-two people are reported to have been injured in the election rally blast in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, at 11:40 local time (07:10 GMT).

Children were among the casualties, medical staff said. The bomber, on a motorbike, triggered the blast at a checkpoint at the venue.

President Ghani, who hopes for a second five-year term, was not hurt.

Another suicide bomber targeted Kabul’s busy Massood Square, the site of government ministries and Nato compounds, at 13:00 local time.

An additional 38 people were injured there, according to the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

What is the security situation in Afghanistan?

An average of 74 people were killed every day in the country in August, according to data collected by the BBC.

Most of the casualties were those involved in combat, such as Taliban fighters, but a fifth were civilians, including children.

Media captionThe BBC was given exclusive access to spend a week with ambulance workers in Afghanistan

The worst day for civilians was 18 August, when 112 were killed, including 92 at a wedding in Kabul.

The Taliban are estimated to be openly active across 70% of Afghanistan.

In June 2019, the country was named the least peaceful place in the world by the Global Peace Index report.

Afghanistan war: Taliban bombs election rally and Kabul square

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