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Roadside bomb kills 3 in Afghan capital

 A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital, killing at least three people in a vehicle on Sunday, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban.

Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the interior minister, said a spokesman for the ministry's public protection force was one of three killed in the attack.

Zia Wadan was a spokesperson for the National Public Protection Force, a security service under the Interior Ministry that deploys guards in international organizations throughout Afghanistan.

Wadan and his colleagues were killed in morning rush hour traffic in an eastern part of the capital, Interior Ministry spokesman Arian told reporters.

"A vehicle carrying Zia Wadan was attacked with an IED [improvised explosive device] ... As a result, Wadan and two of his colleagues were killed," Arian said, adding that another person was injured.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Deadly violence has increased across the country in recent months, and a new trend of targeted killings has sparked fear, especially in Kabul.

Despite the peace talks between the government and the Taliban, high-profile personalities, including journalists, politicians and human rights activists, have been increasingly targeted.


Roadside bomb kills 3 in Afghan capital

Since November, five journalists have been killed in targeted killings along with several other prominent figures.

The armed group ISIL (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months, including against educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students. ISIL also claimed responsibility for the December rocket attacks on the main US base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have continued their fight against government forces, keeping promises not to attack US and NATO troops.

Talks resume in Qatar

Sunday's attack comes as Afghan negotiators resume negotiations with the Taliban to end decades of incessant conflict. Frustration and fear have grown from an increase in violence causing combatants on both sides to blame the other.

The intermittent talks between the Taliban and the government come amid growing doubts about a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban brokered by the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump. An accelerated withdrawal of US troops ordered by Trump means that only 2,500 US troops will still be in Afghanistan when President-elect Joe Biden takes office this month.

Biden has advocated maintaining a small intelligence-based presence in Afghanistan, but Taliban leaders have roundly turned away foreign troops.

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