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Officials: Attacks in southern Afghanistan kill at least 11

Last Updated Jan 7, 2021 at 3:44 am EDT

KABUL — Separate attacks in southern Afghanistan left at least 11 civilians and security forces dead, officials said Thursday, even as Afghan negotiators were in Qatar to resume talks with the Taliban aimed at finding an end to decades of conflict.

In southern Uruzgan province, a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives early Thursday near a military base, killing six security forces, said a provincial council member who was not authorized to speak with the media.

Mohammad Karim Karimi, deputy head of the provincial council in Uruzgan, confirmed the attack on the military base in Tirin Kot, the provincial capital, but couldn’t provide an exact death toll. He said the explosion was so strong it sent shock waves through the city.

In southern Helmand province, at least five civilians were killed and five others wounded in a suspected airstrike late Wednesday on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, according to Attaullah Afghan, head of the provincial council. He said the casualties included children and women.

Abdul Nabi Elham, provincial governor, said officials were investigating to determine whether the assault was an airstrike or some other type of attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

An Afghan negotiating team is in Qatar’s capital of Doha to resume talks aimed at finding an end to decades of relentless conflict even as violence has spiked across the country. The stop-and-go talks come amid growing doubt over a U.S.-Taliban peace deal brokered by outgoing President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press

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