Taliban Kills 20 in Third Day of Surging Violence in Afghanistan

Taliban Kills 20 in Third Day of Surging Violence in Afghanistan

A USA drone attack killed 30 pine nut farmers and wounded at least 40 others in Afghanistan Wednesday night, the latest killing of innocent civilians by American forces as the "war on terror" enters its 19th year.

Many more people are believed to be missing.

Khogyani said civilian casualties were feared.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor said the aerial attack was meant to target ISIS militants who often use farmlands for training and recruitment purposes, but had hit innocent civilians.

The main public hospital in the remote southern Zabul province was devastated by the early morning truck bombing by the Taliban that claimed at least 20 lives and wounded over 90 others. The explosion took place near a hospital.

"The number of casualties may rise, as rescue teams and people are still searching for the bodies under the rubble", he said.

Provincial council chief Atta Jan Haqbayan said the wall of the National Security Department (NDS) building was damaged.

According to the report, women and children continued to be disproportionately impacted by the armed conflict in Afghanistan.

The blast at the hospital shattered windows in nearby homes and left rescuers scrambling to find survivors underneath the wreckage of the hospital.

"I rushed to the scene and I am looking for them and can not find them".

"Some of us managed to escape, some were injured but many were killed", said Juma Gul, a resident of northeastern Kunar province who had travelled along with labourers to harvest and shell pine nuts this week.

US President Donald Trump's declaration this month that the talks were "dead" spurred the Taliban to declare last week that the only other option was more fighting, sparking fears of an uptick in attacks ahead of presidential elections at the end of the month. Two separate bombings on Tuesday, including one that targeted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's election rally, killed 48 people, mostly civilians.

The insurgents, however, are set on undermining the legitimacy of the process and keeping the president weak.

President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, condemned the attack in Zabul, tweeting that the Taliban "continue to target civilians while their leaders travel to Iran and Russian Federation", a reference to the Taliban negotiators recent forays seeking support overseas.

Trump has also been eager to end America's longest war, launched almost 18 years ago after the September 11 attacks on the US.

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