Taliban suicide attack wounds 50 children in Ghazni
GHAZNI -- A Taliban car bomb in Ghazni on Sunday (July 7) killed at least 12 people and wounded many more -- including dozens of children -- in a massive blast.
Sunday's suicide car bombing targeted an intelligence unit, Ghazni provincial governor's spokesman Mohammad Arif Noori told AFP.
Twelve people were killed, said Wahidullah Mayar, a Health Ministry spokesman.
Despite Taliban claims that the attack targeted "intelligence agents", "179 people, mostly civilians including children, were wounded," Mayar said.
The wounded included more than 50 children, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Total casualties reached at least 150, it said.
"UNAMA condemns the indiscriminate & disproportionate Taliban attack," the agency said on Twitter.
At least 25 children from a nearby school had been admitted to hospital, many with shrapnel wounds and severe injuries to the head, neck or chest, said Save the Children,
"This is simply unacceptable, and we urge all armed groups in Afghanistan to think of future generations and stop the killing and maiming of innocent children," said Onno van Manen, Save the Children's country director in Afghanistan.
The blast comes less than a week after 50 children were wounded in a huge explosion in Kabul that targeted a Defence Ministry building but also damaged five nearby schools, showering youngsters with flying glass.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for both atrocities.
The uptick in Taliban violence comes as the Taliban are meeting with US negotiators and Afghan representatives in Doha for the seventh round of peace talks.
Both sides have reported substantial progress in the talks, which were paused Sunday and Monday (July 8) while the Taliban meet with Afghan representatives for a so-called intra-Afghan dialogue.