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Blast in eastern Afghanistan kills 32 as Taliban reject ceasefire extension

A bomb attack has killed at least 32 people in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar amid an announcement by the Taliban militants that they would not extend their temporary ceasefire with Afghan security forces and that fighting would resume in the crisis-hit country.

The deadly explosion occurred outside the governor’s office in the provincial capital Jalalabad on Sunday, reported Afghanistan’s Tolo News channel, citing Najibullah Kamawal, the head of the provincial health department.

The huge blast, which also inflicted injuries upon 45 others, took place after a terrorist detonated his explosives vest in the police district one (PD1) of the city at around 3:00 p.m. local time, Kamawal added.

According to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman, all the victims were civilians.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it has the hallmark of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which claimed responsibility for a similar attack in the same province a day earlier.

The Saturday attack, which was carried out in Rodat district, some 25 kilometers from Jalalabad, killed at least 36 people and wounded 65 others. Reports said that civilians, security forces and Taliban members were among the casualties as people had gathered to celebrate the second day of Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of Taliban, said the outfit would not extend its unprecedented three-day ceasefire with Afghan security forces.

“The ceasefire ends tonight and our operations will begin. We have no intention to extend the ceasefire,” he said on Sunday, a day after Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced the extension of the week-long period of truce with the militant group until an unspecified time.

Mujahid, however, made no reference to Ghani’s announcement.