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Afghanistan suicide bombing kills at least 10 ahead of peace talks

An assailant on a motorcycle has killed several people while targeting a local tribal leader. The leader had mounted a challenge to the Taliban insurgency in the past.

A suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan has left at least 10 people dead and more than 40 wounded. The target of the attack was thought to be a local tribal leader, who was confirmed by officials to be among those killed.

"A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a market in Asadabad," the capital of Kunar province, a spokesman for the governor told French news agency AFP.

The governor's office put the death toll at 10, but another local official, deputy provincial police chief Sayed Maqsood Pacha, said 11 people had died.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the alleged target, Haji Khan Jan, had once led a local uprising against Taliban insurgents. The method of the attack would be in line with previous Taliban violence.

Kunar shares a long stretch of border with neighboring Pakistan, forming an international region where the Taliban still holds varying degrees of power.

The incident came just one week ahead of a new round of

peace talks

between the Taliban and Kabul assisted by the US, China, and Pakistan. The latest round of discussions aimed at curbing the 14-year bloody conflict with the insurgents is hoping to restart a process interrupted last summer when the jihadists' leader Mullah Omar died.

es/rc (AP, AFP)

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