KABUL – At least 14 civilians were killed and 40 injured on Tuesday in two back-to-back explosions in Bamyan, capital of Afghanistan’s eponymous central province, usually considered one of the safest regions in the country during the two decades of war.
The twin explosions took place in the main market of the city around 4:30 pm, authorities said.
“In these two explosions, unfortunately, 14 civilians were martyred and nearly 40 other people injured,” Bamyan governor’s spokesperson Latif Azimi told EFE.
The area was packed with civilians, mostly casual laborers, when the explosion took place and Azimi underlined that there were no military targets nearby.
All the wounded have been transferred to hospitals, some of them reportedly in a critical condition.
The spokesperson said the police had arrested two people in relation to the blast and were investigating further.
According to the preliminary probe, one of the explosive devices had been placed on the chair of a boot-polisher, Azimi added.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, while the Taliban have denied involvement.
“Explosions in Bamyan province have nothing to do with the Mujahideens of the Islamic Emirate. We condemn attacks on civilians and civil targets,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.
The provinces of Bamyan and Panjshir, especially their capitals, are among the Afghan regions to have witnessed the least violence, particularly bombings, during the two decades of war.
However, both the provinces have experienced an increase in violent insurgent activity in their remote areas in recent months.
These attacks come at a time when the Afghan government and the Taliban have been carrying out peace negotiations in Doha since September, although the negotiators have admitted failing to make any significant progress so far.