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Roadside bomb explosions in Afghanistan kill three, wound 20

Policemen arrive at a site of a bomb blast which killed at least two people and injured several others, in Kabul, on February 21, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Two separate roadside bomb explosions have killed at least three people including a child and wounded 20 others in Afghanistan as several parts of the war-ravaged country continue to contend with rising violence.

In the first attack, a roadside bomb blast on Sunday targeted a police car in the capital Kabul, killing the driver and a nearby child as well as wounding five other civilians. 

The second explosion was caused by a bomb placed in a crowded market in southern Helmand province, killing one civilian and wounding 15 others including two policemen.

The attacks come a day after at least five people were killed after several explosions rocked Kabul Saturday morning

The majority of bomb attacks in the capital Kabul in recent months have been sticky bombs — explosive devices with magnets that are attached to vehicles and detonated by remote control or timer.

Kabul and other major Afghan cities have seen a series of attacks and targeted killings against members of security forces, judges, government officials, civil society activists and journalists in recent weeks.

Afghan and US officials have blamed the string of assassinations on the Taliban militants.

The Afghan government earlier announced  that it arrested members of a militant group behind making and deploying sticky bombs in Kabul and elsewhere across the war-ravaged country.

The developments come as both local security forces and the Taliban are preparing for fresh fighting in the spring.

The surge in violence comes despite the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiating to find an end to years of bloodshed in the country.

Afghan military personnel inspect the site of a deadly roadside bomb explosion in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on Feb. 21, 2021 (Photo by AP) .

The US along with its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the guise of fighting terrorism and dismantling the Taliban.

The invasion — which has turned into the longest war in US history — removed the Taliban from power, but the militant group has never stopped its attacks, citing the foreign military presence as one of the main reasons behind its continued militancy.

Nearly two decades after the invasion, Washington struck a deal with the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha early last year.

Under the deal, all foreign troops were expected to leave Afghan soil by May in exchange for the Taliban to halt their attacks on American forces.

NATO defense ministers on Thursday met in Brussels to discuss the possibility of staying in Afghanistan beyond the May withdrawal deadline agreed between the Taliban militant group and the United States under the administration of former US president Donald Trump.

The former White House tenant reached the accord in February 2020, under which the US and its NATO allies are expected to withdraw all troops in 14 months in exchange for the Taliban to halt attacks on foreign forces.

The administration of President Joe Biden says it is reviewing whether to stick to a looming May 1 deadline to withdraw or risk a acklash from the Taliban.

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