The landmine explosion comes hours before Taliban leaders and UN officials gather in Qatar to discuss the Afghan peace process.
At least 11 civilians have been killed in northern Afghanistan when their vehicle set off a landmine, local government officials said Sunday, accusing the Taliban of planting the bomb on the road.
Husamudim Shams, the governor of the northern province of Badgis, said three children were among the victims of Saturday’s blast.
The 11 passengers were traveling in the city of Qala-e-Naw when they were killed, he said.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
It came hours before senior Taliban leaders and UN officials met in Qatar on Saturday to discuss the Afghan peace process, the security of diplomats and people working for humanitarian agencies in Afghanistan.
A Taliban spokesman said in a statement on Twitter that Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the deputy head of the Taliban’s political office, “reiterated the strong commitment to the Afghan peace process at the meeting” with UN officials .
While the Taliban delegation ensured the security of all staff of UN agencies and other relevant diplomats based in Afghanistan, Afghan officials accused the Taliban of incessant violence against government forces and civilians. in an attempt to take complete territorial control over several provinces.
In a 22-page report presented to the UN Security Council on Friday, a group of experts said the Taliban would be responsible for the vast majority of attacks on members of security forces, judges, government officials, civil society activists and journalists. in recent months.
These attacks “appear to be committed with the aim of weakening the government’s capacity and intimidating civil society,” the group said.
He added that the withdrawal of US and NATO forces before 9/11, the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States, “will challenge Afghan forces by limiting air operations with fewer drones and radar capabilities.” surveillance, less logistical support and artillery, as well as an interruption in training ”.
Nearly 1,800 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded during the first three months of 2021 during fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters despite efforts to find peace.