Cleric among three killed in Afghan bombings

·2-min read
Firefighters wash the site of a bomb blast which killed Mohammad Atif, a well-known cleric from a Kabul-based charity group

A prominent Afghan cleric was among three people killed Tuesday as a series of car bomb attacks rocked Afghanistan including four in the capital, officials said.

Targeted killings with remotely detonated bombs attached to vehicles have become a favoured tactic of insurgents in recent months, especially during the morning commute in cities like Kabul.

Mohammad Atif, a well-known cleric from a Kabul-based charity group, was among two people killed when a bomb targeting their vehicle exploded in a central district of the capital, officials said.

Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz told reporters that two other civilians were injured in the blast.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned Atif's murder and blamed the Taliban.

"The Taliban should realize that they can neither achieve the evil intentions of their masters through violence and terror, nor escape from the responsibilities of such crimes," Ghani said in a statement.

The Taliban denied they were involved in Atif's murder.

A second bomb targeting an interior ministry vehicle wounded two security personnel in Kabul, and another person was wounded in the third blast in the capital.

A fourth bomb targeting a vehicle of a lawmaker exploded later on Tuesday in Kabul wounding two people. The lawmaker was not travelling in the car at the time of the attack.

A policeman was killed and two others wounded in a similar attack when a bomb targeting their vehicle exploded in the restive eastern city of Jalalabad.

Separately, a police vehicle was targeted north of Kabul in Parwan province, but the blast caused no casualties, police said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombings.

Deadly violence has ravaged the country in recent months -- particularly in Kabul, with near-daily attacks against government officials, politicians, security personnel, journalists, religious scholars and other prominent Afghans.

Peace talks between the warring Taliban and Afghan government began in September in Qatar, but progress has been slow.

The new US administration of President Joe Biden has said it will review a landmark deal Washington made with the Taliban last year, after accusing the insurgents of ramping up violence.