Three dead in Kabul attacks

·2-min read

Separate bombing and shooting attacks in Afghanistan's capital have left at least three people dead, including the head of an independent elections watchdog, officials said.

The attacks are the latest amid relentless violence in the country even as Taliban and Afghan government negotiators hold talks in Qatar, trying to hammer out a peace deal that could put an end to decades of war.

Gunmen shot and killed Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, executive director of the non-governmental Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), said Ferdaws Faramarz, spokesman for Kabul's police chief.

The attack took place during Rasheed's morning commute to FEFA's office in Kabul, he said. Rasheed's driver later died in a hospital from his wounds, Faramarz said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack.

"By carrying out such attacks, the enemies can not push back the current Afghanistan, which has achieved recent progress and achievements with the tireless efforts and sacrifices of the people," Ghani said in a statement.

Ross Wilson, the US's ranking diplomat in Afghanistan, tweeted that Rasheed was a dedicated and steadfast advocate for representative democracy in the country.

"He worked tirelessly for years to ensure free and transparent elections that engaged all Afghans," Wilson said.

"His death is a loss for his family, friends and nation."

In a separate attack in the capital on Wednesday, a police vehicle was targeted by a bomb in the eastern part of the city.

The blast killed one police officer and wounded two others, according to Faramarz.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack, but the Islamic State group has been linked to multiple attacks in Kabul in recent months.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked even during Taliban and Afghan government peace negotiations, which began in September.

The talks, after some recent procedural progress, have been suspended until early January and there is speculation the resumption could be further delayed.