Child used in Afghan wedding suicide attack

Afghan security officials patrol during an operation against suspected militants, in Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, 09 July 2019Image copyright

Image caption

Afghan security forces are fighting both IS and Taliban militants in Nangarhar (file picture)

At least five people have been killed and more than 40 injured after a child was used to carry out a suicide attack on a wedding party in eastern Afghanistan, say local officials.

The attack took place in Nangarhar province’s Pachiragam district.

Provincial spokesman Attaullah Khugyani said the child was used to target a pro-government militia commander in Friday morning’s attack.

The Taliban denied it was behind the bombing in an area close to Pakistan.

The Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan, also known as IS Khorasan, is known to be active in Pachiragam.

The group has been blamed for a number of deadly attacks in Afghanistan – including a suicide bombing at a Kabul education centre last year that killed dozens of people.

The attack comes days after a historic peace conference between Taliban insurgents and Afghan representatives saw a pledge to minimise civilian casualties.

The two sides agreed on a “roadmap to peace” seen as having laid the ground for formal talks in the future.

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Media captionOgai Wardak, 18: “If the Taliban come, I will fight them”

The Taliban are currently negotiating with the United States in a bid to try to end the 18-year war. They hope to reach an agreement that would see US troops pull out in return for a commitment that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for terrorism.

According to the news agency the Press Trust of India (PTI), the child who was used in the suicide attack was a young teenager.

This is not the first time that children have been used to carry out suicide attacks. Earlier this year, two girls and one boy in Nigeria’s Borno State were used as suicide bombers in a triple attack.

In Indonesia last year, two girls aged 9 and 12 were among those used to attack a church in Surabaya.

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