Four people killed in a bomb blast outside Hekmatyar’s rally in Afghanistan

Jalalabad: At least four people were killed  and  10 others wounded on Monday  in a bomb blast near a political rally in eastern Afghanistan, Radio Pakistan reported. The blast happened as supporters of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a warlord and former prime minister, were leaving the rally at a football stadium in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

Hekmatyar, who returned to public life last year after signing a controversial peace deal with the Afghan  government, was at the gathering but it was not clear if he or his supporters were the targets of the attack. Provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said four people had been confirmed dead and 10 others including two children wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. Areas of restive Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, are a stronghold for the militant Islamic State group but Taliban are also active there. It was the latest deadly violence to strike war-torn Afghanistan as militant groups step up attacks and US and Afghan forces intensify air strikes and ground offensives. The Taliban are facing growing calls to accept President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of talks to end the 16-year conflict.

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