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Iran slams deadly attacks in Afghanistan, calls for dialogue

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has harshly criticized the deadly attacks in Afghanistan that claimed dozens of civilian lives.

Mousavi expressed concern on Tuesday over the spread of violence in Afghanistan after at least 40 people were killed earlier in the day in two separate attacks in the country’s capital and the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The spokesman voiced sympathy with the bereaved families of the victims of the deadly attacks and said Iran calls on all sides involved in the conflict to halt attacks and suspend hostilities during the holy month of Ramadan and pave the way for intra-Afghan dialog and enduring peace.

Three militants stormed a maternity hospital in Kabul on Tuesday and set off an hours-long shootout with police, killing at least 16 people, including two newborn babies and their mothers.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, another terror attack killed at least 24 people and wounded more than a dozen others in Nangarhar, a hotbed of Daesh terrorists.

According to Nangarhar governor’s office, the attack occurred when a terrorist detonated an explosive vest in a funeral ceremony. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In recent years, Daesh has established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan, carrying out attacks at major population centers across the country.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government and the Taliban are in the process of exchanging prisoners as a prelude to a peace process.

Under the deal signed on February 28, the Taliban agreed to halt their attacks on international forces in return for the US military’s phased withdrawal from Afghanistan and a prisoner exchange with the government in Kabul.

The Afghan government, which was excluded from the talks and was thus not a signatory to the accord, is required to release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The militants are obliged to free 1,000 government captives in return.

The agreement was supposed to lay the groundwork for a peace process in the war-ravaged Asian country, but the Taliban militant group has already rejected a government offer of a ceasefire for the duration of Ramadan.

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