12 killed in blasts across Afghanistan

In a deadly car bomb which hit a military base in Shirzad district, Nangarhar province on Saturday morning, eight soldiers were killed, the provincial government confirmed in a statement. The Taliban outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media hours after the blast.

At least 12 people were killed in blasts across Afghanistan, officials have confirmed.

In a deadly car bomb which hit a military base in Shirzad district, Nangarhar province on Saturday morning, eight soldiers were killed, the provincial government confirmed in a statement.

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The Taliban outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media hours after the blast, Xinhua news agency.

The armed group's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said "50 security personnel were killed and injured in a suicide vehicle bomb" that targeted a military base.

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But his claims of the casualties are yet to be verified.

Later, a magnetic bomb struck a police van in Kabul's Pol-e-Company area in Police District 5, injuring one civilian, police said.

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Hours later, another blast struck a car in Salim Carawan area of Police District 4 of Kabul city, killing one person and injuring three others, police spokesman Ferdaus Faramarz said.

Similarly, a roadside bomb struck a rickshaw in Panjway district, Kandahar province,, killing three civilians including a child, provincial police spokesman Jamal Barikzai confirmed.

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Violent incidents mostly in the shape of target killing has been on rise over the past couple of months amid the tough and slow peace dialogue between negotiating teams of the Afghan government and Taliban group in Doha.

The second round of intra-Afghan talks after more than three weeks of break resumed on January 6 without significant progress.

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According to local media reports, no official dialogue has been held between the two sides over the past 10 days.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said last week that he had instructed the government negotiating team to focus on ceasefire and violence reduction to make the talks succeed.

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However, the Taliban has demanded the resignation of the Afghan president from power as precondition for ceasefire and making peace.

A member of Taliban negotiating team Sher Mohammad Abas Stanikzai, according to media reports, has said that the armed group was ready "to make peace if Ashraf Ghani resigns" from power.

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President Ghani has rejected the demand, saying that he is not the obstacle to peace rather he is a champion for peace in Afghanistan.

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