first_imgKabul: At least 10 people — including several women and a child — were killed and scores more wounded by a series of blasts that rocked the Afghan capital Thursday ahead of the election season. The three blasts came amid a wider surge in violence in Kabul and around Afghanistan, where nine family members were killed in an eastern province Thursday while driving to a wedding. The Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate claimed responsibility for the first two blasts, while the Taliban claimed the third. US and Afghan security officials, however, blamed the Taliban for all three explosions. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe attacks came just days before the official campaign season for the September 28 presidential election gets underway. Previous polls have been marred by violence and bloodshed from the Taliban and other insurgent groups who refuse to recognise Afghanistan’s fragile democracy. According to security officials and high-resolution surveillance footage seen by AFP, the first blast came around 8:10 am (0340 GMT) when a suicide bomber targeted a bus as it slowed to turn a corner in an area just east of central Kabul. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsCivilians could be seen scrambling to help stricken passengers off the bus and carrying the body of a small child from the vehicle as smoke poured out the rear window. Other bodies could be seen pooling blood onto the road. About 30 minutes later, a secondary explosion from a device that had been hidden at the scene hit civilians and Afghan security forces as they responded. A third blast, apparently targeting some sort of convoy, came later on in the morning also in eastern Kabul. Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a total of 11 civilians were killed, including five women and a child, and 45 more wounded. Health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said the toll was at least 10 dead and 41 wounded. The attacks come as the US is negotiating for a deal that would see foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan in return for a ceasefire and various Taliban guarantees, including a pledge the country will not become a safe haven for terror groups. Some observers say the insurgents are increasing attacks to gain greater leverage in the talks.last_img