Four killed in bomb attack near Afghan political rally


Jalalabad (Afghanistan) (AFP)

A bomb on a motorcycle exploded near a political rally in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said.

The blast happened as supporters of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a notorious warlord and former prime minister, were leaving the rally at a football stadium in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

Hekmatyar, who returned to public life last year after signing a controversial peace deal with the Afghan government, was at the gathering but it was not clear if he or his supporters were the target of the attack.

Provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said four people had been confirmed dead and 10 wounded including two children.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. Areas of restive Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, are a stronghold for the Islamic State group but Taliban fighters are also active there.

It was the latest deadly violence to strike war-torn Afghanistan as militant groups step up attacks and US and Afghan forces intensify air strikes and ground offensives.

The Taliban are facing growing calls to accept President Ashraf Ghani's offer of talks to end the 16-year conflict.