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      Suicide Bombing Kills 13 at Welcome Home Party for Prisoner Released by the Taliban

      Suicide Bombing Kills 13 at Welcome Home Party for Prisoner Released by the Taliban Suicide Bombing Kills 13 at Welcome Home Party for Prisoner Released by the Taliban Suicide Bombing Kills 13 at Welcome Home Party for Prisoner Released by the Taliban
      Afghan security officials inspect the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Jalalabad on January 17. (Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA)

      War & Conflict

      Suicide Bombing Kills 13 at Welcome Home Party for Prisoner Released by the Taliban

      By Reuters and VICE News

      VICE News is covering the ongoing fight for the future of Afghanistan. Click here for more from the Enduring Freedom blog.

      A suicide bomber killed 13 people in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Sunday at the home of a tribal elder when people had gathered to celebrate his son's release from Taliban captivity, local officials said.

      The son was among those killed, and at least 14 people, including his father, were wounded in the attack, according to Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Reports identified the father as Obaidullah Shinwari, a provincial council member.

      There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied that the group was behind the attack.

      There have been several bomb blasts in Afghanistan over recent weeks at a time when efforts are underway to restart a peace process with the Taliban.

      The Islamic State (IS) claimed its first attack on a major urban center in Afghanistan with an assault on the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad that killed seven people.

      IS has made inroads recently in Afghanistan, attracting fighters that defected from the Taliban after the death last year of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the group's longtime leader. Fighting between the Taliban and IS has now been reported in several parts of Afghanistan. Early last year, IS declared that Afghanistan, along with Pakistan, was part of its "Khorosan" province, prompting militants in both countries to swear allegiance to its self-declared caliphate and carry out attacks in its name.

      The Taliban previously warned IS to back off in Afghanistan.

      "Jihad against the American invaders and its puppets should be carried out under a single flag, a single leadership, and a single order," the Taliban said last June in a letter addressed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his followers.

      According to a report issued in September by the UN's al Qaeda monitoring group, IS has now recruited followers in 25 out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. Foreign fighters, including around 70 militants from Iraq and Syria, are now said to be core members of IS in Afghanistan.

      Last March, the UN's special envoy to Afghanistan told the UN Security Council that IS's presence in Afghanistan is "of concern, but that [its] significance is not so much a function of its intrinsic capacities in the area but of its potential to offer an alternative flagpole to which otherwise isolated insurgent splinter groups can rally."

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      Topics: afghanistan, suicide bombing, jalalabad, taliban, suicide attack, zabihullah mujahid, islamic state, islamic state in afghanistan, abu bakr al-baghdadi, khorosan province, enduring freedom, middle east, war & conflict, taliban prisoner

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