KABUL (Dispatches) – Unknown gunmen attacked a United Nations convoy on the outskirts of Afghanistan’s capital on Thursday, killing five Afghan security force members who were escorting the vehicles, the UN and officials said.
An Afghan interior ministry official said the attack took place near Kabul, adding they believed the Taliban were behind it.
However, a spokesman for the militant group said they had nothing to do with the attack.
The UN’s mission to Afghanistan said in a statement on Twitter that "the UN family in Afghanistan mourns the loss of five Afghan...personnel in an incident today.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the UN convoy.
Attacks on Afghans have escalated around the nation even as the Taliban and the Afghan government hold talks in Qatar.
On Thursday, three back-to-back blasts in eastern Kunar province left three people dead and two injured, according to a police spokesman.
At least two people were killed and five others injured in three separate blasts in eastern Nangarhar province, local officials said.
Unknown gunmen shot and injured Qotbuddin Kohi, a journalist working for Pajhwok News agency in northern Faryab province on Thursday, according to the media outlet’s director.
During recent weeks, violence has been on the rise in Afghanistan with Kabul and several Afghan cities seeing near-daily attacks targeting prominent Afghans, including politicians, journalists, activists, judges, and religious scholars.
Since September 2020, the Afghan government has been negotiating with the Taliban to find an end to years of bloodshed in the country.
Insecurity and violence, however, continue to take a heavy toll across Afghanistan.
The U.S. overthrew a Taliban regime shortly after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. But U.S. troops have remained bogged down there ever since.
After nearly two decades, Washington struck a deal with the militant group in 2020. Bloodshed has not abated, though.