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Afghan Ceasefire Calm Shattered as 12 Die, Including Imam, in Kabul Mosque Blast

At least 12 folks had been killed in a mosque blast on the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Friday, shattering the relative calm of a vacation ceasefire between the warring Taliban and authorities forces.

Among these killed was the imam main Friday prayers on the mosque on the second day of the Muslim competition of Eid al-Fitr. More than a dozen folks had been injured.

The explosion breaks a uncommon respite from violence that was being cautiously loved by Afghans as a part of a three-day truce which started Thursday between Taliban militants and Afghan forces, after weeks of intense preventing.

“The dying toll has jumped to 12 killed together with the imam of the mosque and 15 others are wounded,” stated Ferdaws Framurz, a spokesman for Kabul police, updating an earlier toll.

No group has to date claimed the assault and the Taliban denied duty. Afghan officers commonly blame such blasts on the militant group who in flip insist they’re preventing the Afghan army and never attacking civilians.

The blast comes after Afghan officers on Friday stated the United States had pulled out fully from a serious southern air base within the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

US airstrikes had been launched from the bottom simply final week to assist Afghan forces push again a serious Taliban offensive.

Missed deadline

Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has in latest months seen intense clashes between the resurgent militants and Afghan forces.

“They haven’t formally handed over the bottom to us however I can verify they left the bottom on Wednesday,” stated Khoja Yaya Alawi, a spokesman for the Afghan military in Kandahar.

“The handover of Kandahar Airfield was coordinated” with senior Afghan leaders and the army, stated Sonny Leggett, the US army spokesman in Afghanistan.

An Afghan military officer at Kandahar Airfield, who requested to not be named, informed AFP that authorities forces can be left uncovered by the pullout.

“It is now going to be very tough for us to conduct operations,” he stated. “Our plane can’t fly at evening so the evening operations are going to be tough.”

The airfield was previously the second largest base for US and worldwide troops in Afghanistan and the primary airfield the place US forces had been stationed after the autumn of the Taliban in 2001.

It was additionally the centre of the largest drone operation by US particular forces.

The army has for years been steadily reducing its presence there, accelerated after Washington struck a cope with the Taliban final 12 months to fully withdraw from Afghanistan in return for safety ensures.

However, the US missed the May 1 deadline, extending it to September 11 — a transfer which angered the Taliban.

Although preventing between the US forces and the Taliban has stopped for the reason that landmark settlement final 12 months, battles rage every day between Afghan authorities forces and the militants.

Ceasefires up to now have largely held, in what’s broadly regarded as an train by the Taliban management to show it has management over the myriad factions throughout the nation that make up the hardline motion.

The Pentagon on Tuesday stated it had to date accomplished between six and 12 p.c of America’s ultimate withdrawal from the nation.

Various smaller bases have already been handed over to Afghan forces.

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