At least 14 members of a family have been killed in two landmine blasts in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, officials said on Friday.
The incident took place in the Spin Boldak district along the border crossing with Pakistan, police spokesman Jamal Nasir told Anadolu Agency.
He said a van and a truck carrying civilians struck two landmines in the restive district’s Loy Karez area.
Nasir blamed the Taliban for the incident, though there has been no claim of responsibility from the group so far.
Afghan officials accuse the Taliban of having planted thousands of landmines across the country, a charge rejected by the insurgents.
Despite the imminent start of intra-Afghan peace talks, there seems to be no letup in violence between government forces and the Taliban.
The Afghan army said on Friday it had killed 31 Taliban insurgents who were planning a major offensive in the northern Kunduz province bordering Tajikistan.
On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group killed at least five Afghan security personnel in Ghazni province and destroyed two armored vehicles in Baghlan province, killing an unspecified number of more soldiers.
The reports of violence came just a day after Abdullah Abdullah, Kabul’s lead peace negotiator, announced that the long-awaited intra-Afghan talks are set to commence next week.
Negotiations between the insurgents and the government had stalled over recent weeks due to differences over the exchange of prisoners agreed under the US-Taliban deal in February.
According to figures compiled by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, at least 1,213 civilians were killed and another 1,744 injured in 880 security incidents, including landmine blasts, aerial raids, and ground offensives, in the first six months of 2020.
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