Officials: Suicide car bomb targets Afghan governor, kills 8

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide car bomber targeted the convoy of a provincial governor in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least eight people, including four civilians, government officials said.

The governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, was unharmed in the attack in Laghman province, according to his spokesman, Asadullah Dawlatzai.

Four of Yarmal’s bodyguards were killed, the spokesman said, adding that about 38 people — both military and civilians — were wounded in the attack, which took place in Mihterlam, the provincial capital. Dawlatzai said 36 civilians were among the wounded, including children, as well as two other bodyguards of the governor.

The explosion also left several badly damaged vehicles at the site of the attack. The wounded, including small children, were taken to the city’s main hospitals.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Islamic State group and the Taliban are active in the area. Both militant groups have carried out attacks in the past against Afghan government representatives, national security and defense personnel, and civilians.

The Laghman attack came after a suicide truck bombing in neighboring Nangarhar province on Saturday killed 13 people and wounded 38. That attack struck near a mosque as people were gathering for afternoon prayers.

Representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban are holding intra-Afghan negotiations in Qatar, a Mideast country where the Taliban have had a political office for many years. The negotiations are meant to end the country’s decades-long long war, following a U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed in February in Doha, Qatar’s capital.

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