Blasts in three Afghan cities kill around 50, wound 100

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KABUL: Bombings across three Afghan cities including Kabul killed around 50 people and wounded 100 others Tuesday, in a day of carnage as Taliban insurgents escalate a deadly winter campaign of violence.
At least 11 people died when explosives hidden in a sofa detonated inside the governor´s compound in southern Kandahar during a visit by the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan, who escaped the attack with injuries.
Just hours before, twin Taliban blasts in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annexe, which houses the offices of lawmakers, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 others.
And earlier Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of volatile Helmand province, as the militants ramp up nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually wanes.
The carnage underscores growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where US-backed forces are struggling to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency as well as Al-Qaeda and IS militants.
Kandahar´s governor and UAE envoy Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi were wounded by flames from the explosion, but many others were burned beyond recognition, provincial police chief Abdul Raziq told foreign news agency.
He said around a dozen people were killed and an equal number were wounded, but the governor´s spokesman Samim Khpolwak gave local media a death toll of 11. No militant group has so far claimed responsibility.
But the Taliban said they were behind the Kabul blasts.
In the first explosion, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a minibus transporting government employees. As rescuers reached the scene, a car bomb exploded.
Among the 30 dead were four policemen who were killed in the second explosion when they rushed to help the victims of the first blast.
Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh warned that the toll was expected to rise as many of the wounded were battling for their lives in hospital.
Condemning the “barbaric attack” President Ashraf Ghani lashed out at the Taliban for the assault on civilians, which left the area littered with bloodied bodies. …Agencies

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