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Taliban bomb attack kills 12, wounds 50 in central Afghan province

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a car bomb attack that targeted an intelligence unit in Ghazni on July 7, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

A car bomb attack by the Taliban militant group has killed at least a dozen people, including security forces and civilians, in the country’s central province of Ghazni.

Afghan government officials said a bomber detonated his explosive-laden truck near the National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound in Ghazni, the provincial capital of the same name, early on Sunday.

The officials said the blast left eight NDS officers and four civilians dead, as well as more than 50 people injured.

Shortly after the attack, Taliban claimed responsibly for the bombing in a statement and said an NDS facility had been the target.

The blast in Ghazni was the latest in a wave of near-daily attacks by the Taliban militants, who hold sway over about half of Afghanistan and continue to intensify attacks on Afghan forces despite the presence of thousands of American boots on the ground.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror. Some 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants as the Taliban has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country.

The Taliban representatives and the US negotiators have been holding several rounds of talks — excluding the Kabul government — in the Qatari capital of Doha to resolve the crisis in the war-torn country.

The peace efforts have not, however, stopped Taliban from launching attacks.

On July 1, around 100 people, including dozens of children, were wounded in a similar Taliban bomb attack in Kabul, which was followed by gunmen battling special forces in an area housing military and government buildings.

At least 14 people were also killed and dozens injured in a Taliban mortar attack last Saturday on a busy market in the northern province of Faryab.

In April, the Taliban announced the beginning of its spring offensive in Afghanistan despite involvement in the peace talks with the US.

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