Bomb kills eight at small Afghan peace rally

Bomb kills eight at small Afghan peace rally
2 min read
28 June, 2018
A gathering calling for peace in Afghanistan has been targeted by militants with eight killed and four injured in the bombing.
Afghanistan has witnessed a number of small pro-peace rallies [AFP]

A small gathering calling for peace in Afghanistan has been targeted by militants in the west of the country, with eight killed and four injured in the bombing, officials have said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack that took place on Thursday in Logar province, just south of the capital Kabul.

The bomb was detonated as a crowd of war-weary locals had gathered in the district of Charkh to demand peace.

"Eight people, all of them civilians, were killed. Four more injured. They had gathered in support of peace," Charkh district governor Mohammed Hanif Hanafi, told AFP.

Authorities are investigating the nature of the blast, Shamshad Laraway, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told the news agency. 

Many Afghans have called for peace with violence plaguing the country for decades.

A Taliban insurgency has intensified in recent months, while the more extreme violence of the Islamic State group has also affected civilians in particular.

There has been some signs of hope after a three-day ceasefire - during the Muslim festival of Eid early this month - was agreed between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the first time in nearly 17 years.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed of Taliban fighters and security forces hugging and taking selfies together around the country.

The insurgents returned to the battlefield last week after refusing a government request to extend their ceasefire over Eid.

But calls for peace among the Afghan public have grown.

Earlier this month dozens of activists from southern Helmand province arrived in Kabul after marching hundreds of miles on foot to call for an end to the violence.

On Wednesday, another 25-member group of Afghans arrived in Kabul from the remote north-eastern Kunar province for a similar pro-peace rally.

Earlier in the week, some 15 protesters reached the capital after trekking all the way from the border with Pakistan to join the calls for an end to the bloody war.