Suicide bombing kills protesters in eastern Afghanistan

Explosion near Pakistan border followed double suicide bombing outside a school in Jalalabad

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH   Afghan men carry an injured man to a hospital after a suicide attack in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

A suicide bomber attacked a protest in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan, killing dozens, the same day two bombs exploded near schools in Jalalabad, dampening hopes for a long-anticipated peace.

Up to 57 others were wounded in the blast in Nangarhar province, which killed about 20 people.

The protest against the appointment of a local police chief was taking place on the highway between the provincial capital Jalalabad and the main border crossing with Pakistan when the suicide bomber struck, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although ISIS and the Taliban operate in the area.

Provincial health department spokesman Inamullah Miakhil confirmed the number of dead and wounded.

"Dozens of wounded people have been brought to Jalalabad hospitals so far," Miakhil added.


Read more:

US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe Afghan war crimes

Afghan children must not continue to be targets of terror

Children among dead in Mogadishu bombing


The attack followed a double suicide bombing outside schools in Jalalabad which killed one boy and wounded four others.

The first explosion happened in front of Malika Omaira girls' school at around 08:30 am, local time, and a second bomb went off as students from a neighbouring boys' school and locals gathered at the scene.

Nangarhar, which border Pakistan, has been one of the most volatile regions in Afghanistan this year, enduring many suicide bombings. The province has been an ISIS stronghold since early 2015.

It has been a bloody summer for Afghanistan with co-ordinated attacks on cities, bombs on soft targets like schools, and assaults on buildings killing hundreds of civilians and security forces.

Hopes for peace between the Afghan National Army, which is supported by a US-led Nato coalition, and the Taliban have risen recently, putting an end to the 17-year-old conflict in sight.

The Taliban, however, refuse to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they see as illegitimate, preferring to speak only with the United States.