Twin explosions rip through Afghanistan’s Bamiyan city; at least 18 dead, 45 injured

Two explosions in Afghanistan have killed at least 18 people and wounded 45 others.

The victims included children, and two traffic police officers.

The explosions ripped through a marketplace in the city of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan, according to officials.

Zabardast Safai, the police chief of the province said on Tuesday the explosives were hidden at the side of a road in Bamiyan, home to many members of the mainly Shia Hazara ethnic minority.

Spokesman Tariq Arian said two magnetic bombs caused the blasts in the crowded market, calling it an “unforgivable crime”.

The Taliban, which has been waging a rebellion against the foreign-backed Kabul administration since being toppled in late 2001, denied involvement in the bombings.

Bamiyan, a famous tourist resort among local and international tourists, was long cherished as one of the relatively safest corners in Afghanistan due to its remote location in the central mountains.

The dominant local tribe, the Hazara, opposed the Taliban, who massacred thousands of Hazara during their rule.

The mainly Shia minority has often been targeted by groups such as the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan and also by the Taliban in the 1990s.

In cities such as Kabul, Hazaras have seen repeated attacks in their neighbourhoods, including a brutal daylight assault in the capital in May on a hospital maternity ward that left several mothers dead.

Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of this year as heavy fighting between government forces and the Taliban rages on despite efforts to find peace, according to the United Nations.