Ahead of Doha peace talks, 2 killed in Ghazni mosque blast

Kabul: At least two people were killed and 20 others sustained injuries in an explosion inside a mosque in the central Ghazni province, Aref Nuri, the provincial government spokesman informed on Saturday.

Officials told Xinhua news agency that the blast happened on Friday evening when the worshipers were inside the Mohammadiya mosque in Khak-e-Ghariban area in the city of Ghazni.

However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Ghazni recently witnessed heavy clashes between government forces and the Taliban. Last month, the Afghan forces retook the control of Deh Yak district in the province, which was under the Taliban influence for almost two years.

The attack took place a day before a delegation of 50 members, including Afghan political elites, civil society members, youths and journalists on Saturday left Kabul for Doha to attend an intra-Afghan dialogue on the ongoing efforts for peace and reconciliation in war-ravaged Afghanistan, Tolo News reported.

The delegates who attended the two rounds of talks with the Taliban in Moscow this year are not among the intra-Afghan dialogue members in Doha.

On July 2, Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Markus Potzel, said in a statement that as part of their efforts to support the peace process in Afghanistan, Germany and Qatar will convene an Intra-Afghan Dialogue Conference to be held in Doha on July 7 and 8, 2019.

Potzel said, “Afghanistan stands at a critical moment of opportunity for progress towards peace,” adding that “an essential component of any process leading to this objective will be a direct engagement between Afghans.”

“Only Afghans themselves can decide the future of their country. An Intra-Afghan Dialogue can help clarify the options and opportunities of such direct engagement,” he was quoted as saying.


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