Bombing kills at least 26 in Afghan cease-fire gathering

By Allen Cone  |  June 16, 2018 at 12:49 PM
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June 16 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber attacked a gathering of Taliban and Afghan security officials Saturday in Nanggarhar during cease-fires, killing at least 26 people, officials said.

Also, more than 50 people were wounded in the eastern Afghan city as people celebrated the second day of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the month of Ramadan, The New York Times reported. The event also included civilians, who were among the casualties.

Both sides had declared overlapping cease-fires and unarrned Taliban militants had entered Afghan cities Saturday.

The Islamic State, which is active in Nangarhar Province, claimed responsibility, according to TOLO News, an Afghan news agency.

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor's spokesman for Nangarhar, confirmed to Al Jazeera a suicide bomber caused the damage.

Afghanistan announced a cease-fire on June 7 for eight days and the Taliban followed days later.

Before the bombing Saturday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the government's extension of a cease-fireas the deadline approached but didn't say how long it would last. He also called for the Taliban to also extend the truce, which is due to expire Sunday.

In addition, the attorney general's office had released 46 Taliban prisoners.'

Ahead of the cease-fire, suicide bombers struck a government building in Kabul on Monday, killing more than a dozen people.

The Islamic State, who has made no cease-fire announcement, claimed responsibility for the Kabul bombing.

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