By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – At least 12 Afghan policemen were killed in twin landmine blasts in western Afghanistan, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
According to local authorities in the border province of Nimroz, the back-to-back explosions occurred in the Kang district, killing district police chief Dost Mohammed Hotak and 11 other officers. Bahram Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial administration, blamed Taliban insurgents for planting the mines.
The Taliban have yet to comment.
Earlier in the day, at least five civilians were killed and nine others wounded, including women and children, when a car and minibus carrying passengers drove over a landmine planted by the Taliban in Maidan city, the provincial capital of Maidan Wardak province neighboring Kabul.
Last week, at least 13 civilians had been killed in landmine explosions in the western Herat city, as well as the eastern Laghman and Kunar provinces, according to the country's Interior Ministry.
The insurgent group has not commented on these incidents either.
Violence in the country continues as landmark intra-Afghan peace talks have been going on in the Qatari capital Doha for over a month, with delegates from both the government and Taliban yet to agree on the agenda and a conflict resolution mechanism.
Figures by Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission suggest that in the first six months of 2020, a total of 1,213 civilians have been killed and 1,744 others injured in 880 different incidents, including landmine blasts, aerial raids and ground offensives between the rival parties.