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Suicide car bomb in Afghan capital kills three troops

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KABUL: A suicide car bomb exploded at the western entry gate of the Afghan capital on Friday killing at least three government security troops and wounding four others, an Afghan official said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the explosion targeted a government forces checkpoint near the gate. No one immediately claimed responsibility, though suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.

The government’s head of peace negotiations, Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday urged the Taliban to reach an understanding, finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing war. We have offered ways but Taliban are not trying to reach to an understanding.”

On Thursday, Taliban fighters attacked a government security forces checkpoint in northern Kunduz province, killing five soldiers and wounding two others, said Esmatullah Muradi, provincial governor’s spokesman.

The Defence Ministry claims 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting.

Taliban threatened reporter killed in car bomb

The Taliban had threatened an Afghan reporter who was killed in a car bomb attack this week for investigating their attacks, Human Rights Watch said.

Radio Liberty reporter Aliyas Dayee, 33, was killed on Thursday when a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, the scene of intense fighting in recent months.

Dozens of other journalists had also been threatened by the group, the US-based rights group said in a statement late on Thursday.

Targeted killings of prominent figures, including journalists, clerics, politicians and rights activists, have become more common in recent months as violence surges in Afghanistan, despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

No group has so far claimed the killing of Dayee.

But Dayee recently told HRW that he had received death threats, warning him to stop his reporting on Taliban military operations, it said.

“The Taliban had searched his house, questioned him about his movements, and asked local residents to report on his behaviour,” journalists who knew Dayee told HRW, the statement added.

“The night before he was killed, Dayee had emailed a colleague saying he believed his life was in danger.” Helmand province — a Taliban stronghold where Lashkar Gah is located — has seen heavy clashes in recent weeks between the insurgents and government forces.

Dayee had been “explicitly” warned not to report on the Taliban’s operations in the province or that the group was “violating the agreement” it signed with Washington in February, that paved the way for withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan, HRW said.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2020

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