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Taliban bomber attacks Kabul police station, kills 20

An attack in Kabul has killed at least 20 people, most of them civilians. The Taliban bombing comes ahead of proposed peace talks between the insurgents and the government.

At least 20 people lost their lives on Monday when a suicide bomber attacked a police building in Kabul. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured at least 29 more near the headquarters of the National Civil Order Police force.

Police spokesman Basi Mujahid told the press that the attacker pretended to join the line of civilians waiting to enter the headquarters after the break for lunch and midday prayers. After being spotted outside the gate, he set off the explosives.

"Unfortunately the majority of the killed and wounded are civilians," Mujahid said, adding that two police officers had died while a third was among the injured.

President Ashraf Ghani lamented the "unforgiveable crimes against civilians" in a statement, adding that the government "will never have talks with those groups who kill innocent civilians, women and children. Instead the Afghan security forces will mobilize in their fight against them."

Ghani's statement came ahead of a third round of talks planned for Saturday between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States

and China

with the aim of laying the tracks for a direct dialogue between the Taliban and Kabul after 15 years of conflict. Ghani has vowed to wipe out militants who refuse to participate in the peace process.

The attack coincided with a visit from German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, who was in the Afghan capital to discuss the recent

influx of refugees

from Afghanistan into Germany.

es/jr (dpa, AP)

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