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Bomb Blast In Northern Afghanistan Kills One Civilian, Wounds Two Others

FILE: The aftermath of a roadside bomb in Balkh Province.
FILE: The aftermath of a roadside bomb in Balkh Province.

An explosion during the morning rush hour in the northern Afghan province of Balkh has killed a local resident and wounded at least two others, police said, adding the victims were civilians.

The blast was caused by an improvised explosive device attached to a vehicle, Balkh police spokesman Adel Shah told RFE/RL on January 4. He said the bomb went off near a public bathhouse in the provincial capital, Mazar-i Sharif.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

The incident comes a day after the Interior Ministry reported that 2,219 civilians were killed and 5,172 were wounded by Taliban militants during 2019.

“Taliban fighters often carry out terrorist assaults on civilian populations,” Marwa Amini, a spokeswoman for the ministry said on January 4, adding that killing civilians is “tantamount to a war crime.”

The Taliban has in the past said that most civilian casualties in Afghanistan were caused by Afghan security forces and international troops.