Double blast kills three people, injures 20 in east Afghanistan

It is unclear what caused the explosions. (AFP/File)
Updated 06 April 2019

Double blast kills three people, injures 20 in east Afghanistan

  • Local official said 5 others were also injured in the attack in Sari Pul
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts

JALALABAD/KABUL: Twin explosions on Saturday in the eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad killed three people and injured 20 others, local officials said.
One child and two women were killed, said Mohammad Shoieb Sahak, deputy head of Nangarhar Regional Hospital.
Eight security forces were among the casualties, said Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial government.
“In today’s incident, my sister and her daughters have been victims,” said Sami Ul Haq, a resident of Nangarhar, visiting his family at the hospital. One of his nieces was killed and the other wounded, along with her mother, in the attack, he said.
“It is such a misery.”
It was not clear what caused the explosions.
No group took immediate responsibility. Islamic State emerged in Nangarhar in 2015 on the porous border with Pakistan to become one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous militant groups for its bombing and complex attacks.
Fighting between militant groups, and between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified in recent weeks amid recurring peace talks.

Meanwhile, an Afghan official says Taliban have killed at least four policemen when they stormed a security checkpoint in northern Sari Pul province.

Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of the provincial council, said five others were wounded in Saturday’s attack on the outskirts of the province’s capital city.

Police in eastern Ghazni province say Taliban also launched attacks on security checkpoints there on Saturday, killing three personnel and wounding seven others.

A spokesman for the provincial police chief, Ahmad Khan Serat, said police killed seven insurgents during the gunbattle.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Ghazni, but made no statement on Sari Pul.


Hong Kong endures more transit disruptions, campus violence

Updated 17 min 28 sec ago

Hong Kong endures more transit disruptions, campus violence

  • Police said protesters shot several arrows at them near Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Life in this city of 7.5 million has been strained as thousands of commuters have been unable to get to work or endured lengthy commutes
HONG KONG: Hong Kong residents endured a fourth day of traffic snarls and mass transit disruptions Thursday as protesters closed some main roads and rail networks while police skirmished with militant students at major universities.

Police said protesters shot several arrows at them near Hong Kong Polytechnic University. None of the officers were injured, and six arrows were seized at the scene, police said.

Life in this city of 7.5 million has been strained as thousands of commuters have been unable to get to work or endured lengthy commutes.

The government appealed for employers to show flexibility. “For staff who cannot report for duty on time on account of conditions in road traffic or public transport services, employers should give due consideration to the circumstances,” a statement said.

The Education Bureau extended the suspension of classes for kindergarten to high school students until Monday. It ordered schools to remain open, though, to handle children whose parents need to send them to school.

At Polytechnic University, protesters shot an arrow at officers patrolling nearby, then threw flower pots from a height when other officers arrived. Police responded with tear gas, and protesters fired more arrows.

Protesters have hurled gasoline bombs and thrown objects off bridges onto roads below during clashes at campuses this week. The Chinese University of Hong Kong suspended classes for the rest of the year, and others asked students to switch to online learning.

Students at Chinese University, site of some of the fiercest clashes where students hurled more than 400 firebombs at police on Tuesday, have barricaded themselves in the suburban campus.

Early Thursday they used chainsaws to drop trees onto streets around the campus and prepared for a possible confrontation with police, which were not intervening.

Anti-government protests have riven Hong Kong, and divided its people, for more than five months.

A major rail line connecting Kowloon to mainland China was closed for a second day and five major underground stations were shut along with seven light rail routes, the Transport Department announced.

“Road-based transport services have been seriously affected this morning due to continued road blockages and damage to road facilities. In view of safety concerns and uncertain road conditions, buses can only provide limited services,” the department said.
Traffic was also disrupted because protesters have destroyed at least 240 traffic lights around the city.

The movement began in June over a now-withdrawn extradition bill. Activists saw it as another sign of an erosion in Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, which China promised would be maintained for 50 years under a “one nation, two systems” principle when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.