4 killed in bomb blast in Afghanistan

·2-min read

At least four civilians have been killed and 11 others injured after a roadside bomb hit a bus carrying university teachers and students in Afghanistan.

The blast took place in Charikar, the capital of Parwan, as the bus was travelling from Albironi University in Kapisa province to the capital Kabul.

Tariq Arian, Interior Ministry spokesman has confirmed that all of the victims were students or teachers at the university.

An administrative official in Parwan province said 14 people had been injured.

Abdul Qahar Sarwari, chancellor of the Albironi University, who was injured in the blast, wrote on his Facebook page: "My injuries are not serious and I am doing well, but unfortunately several of our colleagues suffered injuries."

The blast came the same day as a decision by Afghan government to close all universities and schools for at least two weeks as part of the efforts to combat the third wave of COVID-19 in the country.

The incident is the latest in a series of targeted attacks on civilians in urban areas since the signing of the historic agreement in Doha in February last year between the United States and the Taliban. The attacks have increased since the start in September of the now-stalled intra-Afghan talks.

Most of the victims of these attacks are civilians, including human rights activists, intellectuals and journalists, in many cases women.

Kabul has blamed the Taliban for these attacks, but the insurgents deny responsibility, claiming it is a ploy by Afghan authorities to discredit the Taliban movement.

Last March, at least one student and a university bus driver were killed and six teachers were wounded in an alleged Taliban shooting attack on the vehicle, which was carrying a university logo, in northern Baghlan.

In addition to these targeted attacks, there has been an increase in violence since the official withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country began on May 1. It is due to be completed before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that triggered the invasion of Afghanistan.

In the last 24 hours alone, fighting has been reported in 18 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, according to the Ministry of Defence.

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