Residents in the Afghan province of Logar were stunned by Thursday night’s bomb blast in the provincial capital of Pul-e-Alam hours before a ceasefire began between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The Taliban denied any kind of involvement in the attack, and no group has taken responibility for the blast.
Local officials said that the blast occurred in a checkpoint only few meters away from the governor’s office.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior in a statement hours after the attack said that the blast resulted in the killing of “at least eight civilians and the wounding of another 30.”
But local officials in Logar have said that at least 15 people were killed and 45 were wounded in the blast.
Mohammad, 33, was serving in the ranks of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in Logar and he lost his life in the blast. He left behind an elderly parent and a wife and three children.
“The people go out for Eid celebration, but it has changed into chaos–my grandchildren, their parents are burning, why should there be a car bomb inside the city?” said Abdul Samad, the father of Mohammad Ibrahim.
The explosion reportedly occurred near a market where vendors were selling their products.
“We call on the government to help us, my children have lost their father and they have no one,” said Mohammad Ibrahim’s widow.
“Which peace? What kind of peace? If this attack is not carried out by the Taliban and there are other groups behind it, then who are these groups who operate here?” said Qasim Khoshiwal, the deputy head of Logar’s provincial council.
“No one can deny that the Taliban has created conditions for war in Afghanistan. If the Taliban have not carried this out, then the Taliban should show it practically,” said Ajmal Shapor, the governor of Logar.
Logar is a fragile province from a security perspective. The Taliban have a strong presence in Logar’s Charkh, Baraki Barak, Mohammad Agha, Azra and Kharwar districts.
This comes after Tuesday’s announcement by the Taliban calling a three-day ceasefire during Eid al-Adha ahead of the intra-Afghan negotiations that are expected in the coming weeks.
The group called on its fighters to avoid attacking Afghan forces and to not enter government-controlled areas. This is the third ceasefire in the country since June 2019 when the group announced a three-day truce for Eid.