Senior Afghan official survives bomb attack in Kabul, police say

February 1, 2021 6:33 AM EST

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KABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan peace ministry official suffered light injuries in a bomb blast in the capital Kabul on Monday, police said, the latest in a recent series of attacks on civilian targets.

Killings by small, magnetic bombs attached to the undercarriages of vehicles, as well as shootings, are unnerving Afghan officials, activists and journalists, and they are on the rise despite negotiations to end two decades of war.

The latest explosion occurred near an armoured vehicle that was taking Khoshnood Nabizada, a peace ministry official who is also editor in chief of the local Khaama Press agency, to work, Kabul police said.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack. "Today's targeted attack in Kabul against a senior official involved in the peace process is another deplorable incident, akin to an attack on the peace process itself," UNAMA said on Twitter.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Government officials generally blame Islamist Taliban insurgents for all targeted killings, a tactic senior security officials and Western diplomats say is meant to instil fear while avoiding large-scale civilian casualties.

In a separate attack in Kabul on Monday, a bomb attached to an army vehicle in a western district of the city killed one officer and a civilian, police said.

Bombings in recent weeks have targeted politicians, security officials, human rights activists and journalists.

The Taliban and the Afghan government have been negotiating in Qatar to reach a peace deal. Those talks resumed in January after an almost month-long break, but negotiators and diplomats say there has since been little progress.

(Reporting by Kabul Bureau, Writing by Hamid Shalizi, Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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