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Three Tribal Elders, Nine Police Killed In Afghanistan


Afghan security officials inspect the scene of a bomb blast in Jalalabad on February 20.

An explosion has killed at least three tribal elders and wounded two in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province, while at least nine police were killed in attacks elsewhere in the war-wracked country, officials say.

The three tribal elders were killed when a bomb went off on February 20 in a hotel room in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar Province, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The elders were in Jalalabad for a meeting about a new electronic identity card being introduced by the central government. Khogyani said that two other elders were wounded in the blast and that another bomb was discovered and defused by police near the hotel.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. Both the Taliban and Afghanistan's Islamic State (IS) affiliate are active in Nangarhar.

In the western Farah Province, attacks on police checkpoints killed eight officers, said Muhammad Naser Mehri, spokesman for the Farah governor.

Mehri added that 13 insurgents were also killed in the fighting. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks in Farah.

In the eastern Kapisa Province, two gunmen opened fire at the police, killing one officer, provincial spokesman Qais Qaderi said, adding that both gunmen were also killed.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Kapisa.

Meanwhile, officials confirmed that two mass graves belonging to civilians abducted by IS militants, with a total of nearly two dozen bodies, had been found in Nangarhar in the last two days.

Spokesman Khogyani said 10 bodies were discovered in a grave in the Mamanddara area of Achin district on February 20, while another grave with nine bodies was found in the same area the previous day.

With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Tolonews.com
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