Ghazni: Officials said that at least 15 children were killed after a motorcycle with explosives exploded near a religious gathering in eastern Afghanistan on Friday.
The children gathered in a house in Ghazni province to recite verses from the Koran, which is the holy day of Islam on Friday (a regular event when the explosion occurred).
Although the government and the Taliban initiated peace talks to end the arduous war in the country, violence in Afghanistan has continued to surge in recent months.
“Unfortunately, 15 of all children were killed due to this incident,” said Wahedullah Jumazada, spokesperson for the governor of the province.
Provincial Police Force spokesperson Ahmad Khan Seerat (Ahmad Khan Seerat) confirmed that the explosion was a Taliban attack.
He added that 20 people were injured, including children.
Tariq Arian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, said earlier that the group had gathered to recite the Quran in the Gilan area, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the provincial capital Ghazni.
The Taliban and government forces clashed regularly in the province, and the insurgents controlled several areas of the province.
Last month, a suicide car bomb attacked a military base near the city of Ghazni, killing 30 security personnel.
The government’s dialogue with the Taliban-the Taliban meeting held in Doha, Qatar’s capital in September-was suspended until early January.
The country has witnessed an increase in fighting and the Taliban have been accused of trying to gain the upper hand in negotiations through violence.
In recent months, the Afghan army has also fought a series of attacks by the Islamic State group.
The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan said that between January and September this year, more than 2,100 civilians were killed in violence and more than 3,800 were injured.
The outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump has ended the longest war in the United States, and Washington signed an agreement with the Taliban early this year, promising to withdraw troops from the country by May 2021.
Since signing the agreement, the Taliban have mainly targeted government forces in rural areas. In the agreement, they promised to start negotiations with the Afghan government.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for the next round of peace talks in Kabul, saying that meeting in a “luxury hotel” in Doha was inappropriate.
The Taliban negotiators have flown to Pakistan and met with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. Khan called on both sides to reduce violence and agree to a ceasefire.