Four people were killed and a further 13 wounded following a series of explosions targeting government agencies in Afghanistan on Wednesday, local authorities have confirmed.
In one of the attacks, which coincided with Afghanistan’s Independence Day, two sticky bombs reportedly intended for civil servants in capital Kabul killed two people, including a police officer, while injuring two others.
The other attack took place in Puli Khumri, the capital of northern Baghlan province, with a bomb exploding on a vehicle belonging to local intelligence officials. Two service members died, while 11 others were wounded, confirmed Nazir Najem, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
One of those killed in the attack was high-ranking Education Ministry employee Abdul Baqi Amin, director of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Education, after an explosive was placed inside his car. His death took place less than a week after Fawzia Koofi, a member of the government’s negotiating team, was injured in an assassination attempt in the north of Kabul.
No specific organization has yet taken responsibility for the attacks, with Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claiming he was not even aware of them.
The attack took place a day after more than a dozen rockets struck Kabul, wounding at least ten people, including children, and forcing some foreign embassies to go into lockdown. The perpetrators are unknown, but the Interior Ministry announced that they had been taken into custody.
The explosions also occurred as attempts to negotiate a peace agreement between the U.S.-backed Afghan government and the Taliban are on the verge of total collapse after the former refused to release 320 Taliban prisoners until the caliphates free more Afghan soldiers taken hostage.
Under the proposed peace deal, both sides are supposed to release prisoners, including 5,000 jihadists held by the government and 1,000 government and military personnel held by the Taliban. The U.S. is also aiming to recruit the Taliban to fight Islamic State militants in Afghanistan, despite the two organizations being ideologically aligned.