Taliban attacks kill 48 before Afghan polls

Weeks after US President Donald Trump abruptly ended peace talks with Taliban, two blasts killed 48 people in Afghanistan on Tuesday, reports say.

Taliban, which claimed the attacks, warned of more such bombings before the elections scheduled to be held on Sept 28.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle triggered the first explosion by ramming his vehicle into a police van at a checkpoint not far from an election rally addressed by President Ashraf Ghani, above left, in central Parwan province killing 26 people and injuring 42 others.

The president, who escaped without injuries, later condemned the incident saying it proved the Taliban was not interested in reconciliation, peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group had warned people not to attend elections and if they suffer, it is because of their own fault.

Among the dead were women and children. Pictures released showed the charred remains of the suicide bomber, his vehicle and the police van.

An hour later, another blast in central Kabul near the US embassy left 22 dead and 38 injured.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said Taliban is showing no regard for civilian life and the fundamental human right to participate in a democratic process.

Many had criticised the talks between the US and Taliban in Doha without involving the Afghan government. It was perceived that the Taliban wanted only power and early withdrawal of US troops. Many Afghan thought the elections would be cancelled once the deal was struck in Doha.

Election campaigns started only after the talks collapsed. However, people did not expect a free and fair elections with Taliban hell-bent on disrupting it.

The terror group had warned that if Doha talks failed, their only option would be fighting and Trump would regret the decision not to withdraw US troops from the Afghan soil.

Provoking Taliban further, Trump cancelled secret talks at Camp David with their leaders after the group claimed an attack in Kabul that killed a US soldier along with 11 Afghan civilians.