July 21, 2019
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Teenage suicide bomber kills nine at Afghan wedding

Kabul, Jul.12 (efe-epa).- A teenage suicide bomber blew himself up at a wedding in eastern Afghanistan on Friday morning, killing nine people and injuring 20, an official said.

Attaullah Khogyanai, a spokesperson for the Nangarhar governor, told EFE that the target was a local tribal elder Hajji Turkhan.

The bombing took place at Turkhan’s residence in restive Pachir-Aw-Agam district of Nangarhar province,.

“Among the dead is Hajji Turkhan, his two children, a minor and the rest are local civilians," Khogyanai said.

Turkhan was a commander of a pro-government militia and worked with Afghan security forces in their anti-insurgency operations.

Khogyanai said the child suicide bomber blew his explosive-laden vest among guests who had gathered to celebrate the wedding ceremony of Turkhan’s nephew.

The spokesperson said the wounded have been evacuated to government hospitals and five of them were in serious conditions at a military health facility.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

A Taliban spokesperson denied the insurgent group’s involvement. “The blast at a wedding party in Nangarhar has nothing to do with the mujahideen of the Islamic emirate,” Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.

Islamic State or Daesh militants are also present in the eastern province. The group has carried out several attacks in the region in the past.

The attack comes a day after “positive results” were reported by the Afghanistan government in a peace conference between Taliban insurgents and Afghan representatives in Qatar.

The two-day conference, which brought together 60 Afghans, representing all spheres of society, including Taliban and government officials, pledged “to minimize the civilian casualties to zero” in the war in Afghanistan and work on a "road map to peace" for formal talks in the future.

Taliban leaders and officials from the United States, led by envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, have separately held several rounds of peace talks in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for ending the 18-year-old war.

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