Eight Afghan security personnel killed in Taliban attack

A suicide bomber drove a vehicle loaded with explosives into a base for Afghan defence forces in the country’s east, killing at least eight security personnel in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

The pre-dawn assault on Saturday took place in the restive province of Nangarhar where the Taliban has claimed several deadly assaults targeting government forces.

The governor’s office said security forces seized another vehicle loaded with explosives near the city of Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar.

Nangarhar province has seen several recent deadly attacks carried out by the armed group ISIL (ISIS).

Separately, two roadside bombs exploded in Kabul on Saturday but there were no casualties, police said.

Violence has surged across Afghanistan even as the Taliban and the government engage in peace talks that began in September. The discussions have so far failed to make any breakthrough.

The new Biden administration in the United States has accused the Taliban of not reducing violence despite signing a deal with Washington last year to do so.

That agreement required the Taliban halt attacks on US forces, sharply decrease violence, and advance peace talks with the government in Kabul.

In return, the US would steadily reduce its troops in the country and remove all forces by May 2021.

But on Thursday the Pentagon said, “The Taliban are not meeting their commitments to reduce violence and to renounce their ties to Al-Qaeda.”

The Biden administration is now reviewing the deal, which the previous Trump government signed with the armed group in the Qatari capital in February 2020.

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