12 killed in Afghan suicide bombing

A suicide attack in Afghanistan on Tuesday killed at least 12 people and ignited a nearby petrol station, officials said, with witnesses describing screaming victims “swallowed” by flames in the latest deadly violence to hit the country.

The bomber was targeting Afghan security forces when he blew himself up in the eastern city of Jalalabad, officials said.

Ten civilians were among the dead and at least five people were wounded in the blast, the provincial Governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

Some of the victims were brought to hospital with severe burns, health director Najibullah Kamawal said.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack via its Amaq propaganda agency — the latest carried out by the extremists in restive Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. Tuesday’s attack comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed “hope” for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, during an unannounced visit to Kabul.

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