34 killed in Afghanistan amid long peace march to Kabul

As many as 34 people were killed and dozens injured in several attacks across Afghanistan on Monday.

At least 13 people were killed and 25 others injured in a suicide bombing outside the entrance to a ministry building in western Kabul, a health ministry spokesman said.

The attack took place around 1pm as employees of the ministry of rural rehabilitation were queuing to board a bus to return home after the day’s work, local police said.

Government offices function just for namesake during the holy month of Ramadhan when people fast from sunrise to sunset.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the bombing through its Amaq news agency.

In northern Afghanistan, at least 15 members of the Afghan security forces were killed when Taliban militants attacked their security post in Qala-e Zal district of Kunduz province.

The attack took place as men gathered to eat pre-dawn meal before fasting, Aminullah Ayaddin, a provincial council member, told dpa. Among those killed were ten soldiers and five policemen.

The Taliban attack happened hours ahead of a unilateral ceasefire announced by Kabul with the militant group from June 12-20.

In the south-east of the country, a mine explosion left six civilians dead and three others injured when their vehicle drove past it.

Ghazni’s provincial administration blamed the Taliban for the incident. While Taliban plant mines to target security forces operating against them, mostly civilians fall victims to the blasts.

Fifteen people were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to an education department building in Nangarhar province of Jalalabad district.

This sparked a gun battle between security forces posted at the building and militants who were with the suicide bomber. Hearing gunshots, several terrified employees jumped out of the windows and fled.

A spokesman for the Nangarhar governor said a carnage was averted as a bomb planted by militants in a vehicle parked near the building was defused.

The provincial government blamed Islamic State terrorists but the group did not comment on the attack.

Monday’s incidents of violence came as dozens of protesters kept marching towards Kabul to demand an end to the 17-year conflict.

The march, which began with just nine people from the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province in May has, by now, drawn some 50 people. The marchers hope to reach the capital before Eid and present a list of demands for peace to Afghan leaders.