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At Least Three Killed, More Than 20 Wounded In Afghan Blasts

The Taliban took over most the country in August.

Reports from Afghanistan say three explosions have killed at least three people and wounded 19 others in the capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar, in what was described as the country's first deadly attack since the Taliban gained control of most of the war-torn country more than a month ago.

Witnesses and a member of the Taliban-led government were quoted as saying that at least one of the blasts in the city of Jalalabad hit a vehicle carrying Taliban fighters.

Women and children were said to be among those wounded.

The blasts were caused by roadside bombs, a source in the province told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity. The source said three civilians were killed and an unspecified number of Taliban fighters were injured.

Photos allegedly taken at the site of the blast showed a pick-up truck with a white Taliban flag surrounded by debris as armed fighters looked on.

No other details were immediately available.

Earlier in the morning, a sticky bomb exploded in the capital, Kabul, wounding at least two people, police officials said.

The target of the Kabul attack was not immediately clear, but local media reported that it occurred in an ethnically Hazara-dominated area in police district 13, in the western part of the city.

The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, ousting the internationally backed government and promising to restore security to the violence-wracked country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts.

Nangarhar is the heartland of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group's local branch, Islamic State-Khorasan, which is an enemy of Afghanistan’s new rulers.

An anti-Taliban resistance front is also active in Panjshir, a rugged mountain valley located about 100 kilometers northeast of Kabul.

During a visit to Tajikistan on September 18, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Tehran will “will not allow terrorist organizations and IS to set up next to our border and strike other countries and the region.”

"The presence of IS in Afghanistan is dangerous not only for Afghanistan but also for the region," he said.

Iran, which shares a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan, did not recognize the Taliban during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001.

But Tehran has recently said that the Sunni militant group must be "part of a future solution" in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's new rulers have formed a government led by hard-line Taliban veterans and composed by men almost entirely to the Pashtun ethnic group.

"A government belonging to only one ethnic or political group cannot solve Afghanistan's problems," Raisi said, calling for a government with representation for all Afghans.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had launched talks with the Taliban -- whose leadership has historically had close ties with its southern neighbour -- to try to persuade the militants to form a government that includes Tajiks, Uzbeks, and members of the mainly Shi'ite Hazara minority.

Reflecting widespread disappointment over the recently announced Taliban-led government that left out women and minorities, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on September 17 saying that the group needs to establish an inclusive government that has “the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women" and upholds human rights.

The resolution also extended the mandate of the UN mission in Afghanistan, known as UNAMA, for six months, and delivered a clear message that the 15 council members will be watching closely events in Afghanistan.

With reporting by dpa, AP and AFP
This story also includes reporting by Radio Azadi correspondents in Afghanistan. Their names are being withheld for their protection.
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