Alwaght- A Taliban bomb attack has left at least seven seven intelligence personnel in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, just hours after the government took a step towards national reconciliation with President Ashraf Ghani entering a power-sharing agreement with his long-time rival Abdullah Abdullah.
Local media said on Monday that explosives on a vehicle were detonated by its driver near the building of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) Special Unit in Ghazni Province in the early hours of the day.
"The terrorists have used a humvee in their attack. They have targeted the National Directorate of Security unit in Ghazni city," Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesman for Ghazni governor told AFP, adding that 40 people were wounded.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the armed group was behind the attack in Ghazni province, a Taliban stronghold.
The provincial capital, also called Ghazni, briefly fell under Taliban control twice in recent years. The province has in the past been the scene of many large-scale attacks against both Afghan and NATO forces.
The attack came a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, signed a power-sharing agreement, two months after both declared themselves the winner of last September's presidential election.
Violence has spiked in Afghanistan in recent weeks. The Taliban militant group, which has struck a “peace” deal with the United States not to hit international forces in Afghanistan, has ratcheted up attacks on Afghan forces, even as it has been involved in a piecemeal prisoner swap with Kabul that was required under that same deal.
In a horrendous attack last Tuesday, three gunmen attacked a maternity hospital in Kabul, opening fire at pregnant women and newborn babies there. At least 24 people were killed and 16 others were injured before the gunmen were taken out by Afghan security forces.
Even though the Taliban said it was not responsible for that attack, a claim that the US also made, the Afghan government said the militant group was to blame.
The US has attempted to downplay Taliban violence in order not to see the deal collapse. The agreement, signed in February, allows for the phased withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan. The Afghan war, the longest in US history, started with a US invasion of the country in 2001.