At least three people were killed and more than 18 injured in three explosions in Jalalabad, in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province.
It was reported that the intended target might have been a passing convoy of the Taliban in the provincial capital. It was the first attack in the province since the Taliban came to power last month.
A Taliban official told reporters that the group is still investigating the nature of the attack.
“It is too early to say how they carried out the attack,” he said. “We can’t say for sure who might be behind the blasts.”
A health official in the city, speaking anonymously, said: “We have received 20 injured. Two of them died soon after being shifted to the hospital. We have children and women injured as well.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but local Islamic State affiliate ISIS-K is suspected to be based in the mountainous region of the province along the country’s eastern frontier with Pakistan.
Another bomb reportedly exploded in the country’s capital, Kabul, injuring two people. It is not clear who was the target of the attack, but locals say that the magnetic bomb had targeted a vehicle.
In August, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in which two suicide bombers detonated themselves at Hamid Karzai International Airport. At least 95 Afghans and 13 US service members were killed, and more than 100 injured in the blasts.
In 2018, ISIS-K ranked as the world’s fourth-deadliest terror group, claiming more than 1,000 lives, mostly in Afghanistan, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace, which monitors global terrorism.
The Jalalabad attack is the first deadly blast since the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. After taking power, the Taliban had promised to restore peace and stability in the region, and not to shelter any militant organizations.
Earlier this year, Taliban fighters claimed to have killed hundreds of ISIS-K fighters after the US agreed to not deploy their airpower against the Taliban.
However, credible reports said that many ISIS-K fighters were able to escape and might have regrouped or formed sleeper cells.
With the Taliban now seemingly secure in power, a full civil war might be an unlikely prospect, but the threat of ISIS-K attacks on civilians is high.
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