By Shadi Khan Saif
At least four civilians were killed and 10 others injured in an explosion close to a political rally held by Hezb-e-Islami party leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in eastern Nangarhar province on Monday, according to an official.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told Anadolu Agency a suspected motorcycle bomb was said to have caused the blast in the vicinity of Behsud Bridge, close to the Afghan-Turk school in provincial capital Jalalabad city.
He said a political rally organized by the Hezb-e-Islami party was underway when the incident took place.
“I can confirm four people, all civilians were killed in the blast; 10 others were wounded, one of whom is in critical condition.”
According to the local Azadi Radio, the blast occurred when thousands of Hekmatyar supporters were leaving for home after attending the political rally.
In his speech, the former mujahedeen leader had hailed the government’s offer of peace talks to the Taliban, and urged the armed group to enter peace negotiations, the radio reported.
In June 2017, following his landmark return after some 20 years of self-imposed exile, Hekmatyar reaffirmed his support for the government in Kabul led by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, with whom he inked the peace deal in September 2016.
The 69-year-old now resides next to the headquarters of his political party in the heart of
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Eastern Nangarhar province, which is between the Afghan capital and Pakistan’s tribal belt, has been marred by pro-Daesh and Taliban insurgency.