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Deadly Bombing In Shiite Area In Kabul - Taliban Kill Ten Policemen

Afghan security forces keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul, March 9, 2018

Two deadly attacks, one against a Shiite neighborhood in Kabul and another against an army post in a remote region have killed at least 19 people in Afghanistan.

A suicide bomber on foot blew himself up on March 9 in a Shi'ite area of Kabul, killing at least nine people, Afghan officials said.

"Seven were martyred and seven were wounded in the explosion," Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish wrote on Facebook.

The Afghan Health Ministry said at least 13 were injured in the blast.

Nasrat Rahimi, another spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said at least one police officer was killed in the blast, which occurred in the Dasht-e Barchi area of the capital during a gathering to mark the anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, a leader of the Shi'ite Hazara minority.

The bomber is not included in the Afghan government's casualty toll.

In another deadly attack, the Taliban launched an assault on an army outpost in a remote region of Afghanistan's northern Takhar province, killing 10 local police officers and wounding nine, a local official said on March 9.

Provincial police spokesman Khali Aseir said that a large number of Taliban fighters assaulted the outpost overnight.

Aseir said the 10 members of the local police were ambushed and killed while on their way to the outpost to assist the Afghan soldiers in the remote district of Khwaja Ghar.

There were no casualties among the soldiers.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault and the killing of the police officers. He claimed the Taliban had inflicted a far higher number of casualties but the insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

The report couldn't be independently confirmed because of the area's remoteness.

In recent days, the Afghan government and its NATO allies have urged the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and accept a political role in the country. There has been no clear response from the insurgent group yet.