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A TALIBAN suicide bomber killed 24 people and wounded scores more at a campaign rally for President Ashraf Ghani in northern Afghanistan today.
The jihadist group also claimed responsibility for a blast close to the US embassy in the capital Kabul that occurred just hours later, signalling an escalation in activities.
Afghanistan goes to the polls on September 28 in an election opposed by the Taliban. The group has warned against participation in the vote, stating that it would intensify attacks against what it deems legitimate targets.
The country has been bracing itself for increased violence after US President Donald Trump scrapped peace talks and said that any deal struck with the Taliban was “dead.”
This followed the death of a US soldier in a bomb attack last week carried out by the jihadists with the aim of strengthening their hand in the negotiations.
In today’s attack in Parwan province, a motorcycle packed with explosives targeted Mr Ghani’s campaign rally, the bomber ramming into the entrance of the venue on the outskirts of the city of Charakar.
Local official Dr Qasim Sangin said many women and children were among the casualties.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, gave a statement to the media saying Taliban suicide bombers were behind both attacks.
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