Asia PacificTerrorism

Three Killed in Afghanistan Hotel Blast: Police

Three people were killed and another seven were wounded in an explosion on Monday at a hotel in the eastern Afghan city of Khost, near the border with Pakistan, local police said.

Security forces were investigating the cause of the blast at a hotel in central Khost that went off around 11:00 am (0630 GMT), a police spokesman said in a statement.

The three killed were civilians, the spokesman said, and the seven wounded were taken to hospital.

He said the casualties included Afghan citizens as well as people who had fled fighting in Pakistan.

The police spokesman would not provide any further details about the blast when contacted by AFP. It was unclear by late afternoon whether it was an accident or an attack.

An AFP photographer said shops in the vicinity of the explosion had been damaged but the site was blocked off.

Violence across Afghanistan has fallen since the Taliban stormed back to power in August 2021, ousting the US-backed government and ending their two-decade insurgency, although the Islamic State group remains a threat.

Pakistan has also witnessed a dramatic uptick in militant attacks focused on its western border regions since the Taliban takeover, claimed by both IS and Afghan Taliban ally Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Khost province borders Pakistan districts that are known as long-time havens for militants, with Pakistani military operations there sending many thousands of people fleeing into Afghanistan.

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