The escalating violence has dampened hopes of peace talks to end Afghanistan's 17-year conflict but two Taliban officials on Tuesday told Reuters the movement was preparing for another meeting with U.S. officials following one in July.
At least 19 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up among protesters in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, an official said, in the latest violence to hit the country.
Locals were protesting about a local police commander at the time of the attack.
"Around four hundred people gathered for the protest and the bomber detonated his vest full of explosive among the crowd", said Capt. Qais Saifi, an official at Nangarhar province police headquarters.
Taliban insurgents in a statement posted on their website denied any involvement in the attack.
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Meantime, spokesman for Nangarhar's provincial government Attaullah Khogiani told Xinhua that 68 people were killed and 165 others injured, saying more details would be available after completion of an investigation. They were taken to hospitals in the city of Jalalabad.
Afghan policemen arrive at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 15, 2018.
The death toll could be higher and the number of injured is estimated to be more than 100. The protest was held in Mohmand Dara district near Jalalabad-Torkham Highway. In January, a Taliban-claimed suicide bombing in the capital Kabul killed at least 103.
A 14-year-old student was killed and four others wounded in the first attack, he said.
The statement said that UNAMA reminds all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations to protect civilians and calls upon them to immediately cease targeting civilians and civilian objects such as schools, in compliance with worldwide humanitarian law.