KABUL: At least 32 Afghan civilians were killed and scores wounded on Tuesday when they were holding a rally against a local commander in the eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said.
The main insurgency group, the Taliban who are fighting to drive out the U.S.-led troops and topple the government, immediately distance itself from the attack which came hours after three small blasts took place in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.
Those explosions caused few casualties and apparently happened near schools in the city which has been a key target of bloody attacks for affiliates of Daesh in recent months.
Public health ministry’s spokesman Waheed Majroh in a message said that 128 people were wounded in the suicide attack.
“I feel profound indignation at this wave of attacks deliberately targeting civilians. Our deepest sympathy is with the victims…” the United Nations Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a statement.
President Ghani also slammed the attacks, adding they can not deter Afghans from having a “bright future”.
Tuesday’s blasts come following three separate attacks by Daesh network in Kabul since last week, that have resulted in the loss of lives of some 30 civilians and have become cause of serious alarm for Afghans about the expansion and escalation of attacks by the group.
The rise of strikes by the group coincides with a series of gains by the Taliban in the northern areas where they have killed scores of government forces since Sunday.
The escalation of violence, compounded by deepening rift within the government leaders, has seriously impacted the reputation of the administration and raised further doubt about the prospect of next month’s parliamentary polls as well as the presidential one set for April.