Afghan president escapes attempt on life in Taliban attack, at least 48 dead Sep 18, 2019 0 251 12345 AFPKabulTaliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday–one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul -- with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections.The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where President Ashraf Ghani was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy. Authorities initially did not give casualty figures, but later said 22 people had been killed and a further 38 wounded.The explosions came after US President Donald Trump abruptly ended talks with the Taliban earlier this month over a deal that would have allowed the US to begin withdrawing troops from its longest war.In a statement sent to media claiming responsibility for both blasts, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack near Ghani’s rally was deliberately aimed at disrupting the September 28 elections. “We already warned people not to attend election rallies, if they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility,” the statement said.An AFP image from the scene near Ghani’s rally, roughly an hour’s drive north of Kabul, showed the remains of a burnt motorcycle, with a body on top, covered by a blanket and next to a badly damaged police car. Women and children were among the causalities, Parwan hospital director Abdul Qasim Sangin said.The president, who was speaking to his supporters at the time of the blast, was unhurt but later condemned the attack, saying the incident proved the Taliban had no real interest in reconciliation.“As the Taliban continue their crimes, they once again prove that they are not interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said Ghani in a statement. Sixty kilometres (40 miles) away in Kabul, a shopkeeper, Rahimullah, said he had been sitting inside his shop when the second blast came. “The wave broke all the windows,” he said.“I rushed outside and saw several bodies just across the street. This is the second time in less than a month that a blast has broken our windows. I just fixed them a week ago.” The UN’s mission in Afghanistan also slammed the Taliban, accusing them of showing “despicable disregard for civilian life & fundamental human right to participate in democratic process”.The elections will see Ghani face off against his own Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, and more than a dozen other candidates, including former warlords, ex-spies, and onetime members of the country’s former communist regime. RELATED ARTICLES India arrests ex-Kashmir chief minister Sep 18, 2019 0 252 UK PM tried to silence parliament, SC told Sep 18, 2019 0 792 India says expects to gain control over Pakistan Kashmir one day Sep 18, 2019 0 1429 Daughter of Pakistan’s ex-premier allowed to stay in politics Islamabad: Pakistan’s election commission on Tuesday allowed the daughter and political successor of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to hold a leading political role despite corruption allegations. “The .. Prosecutor can appeal ICC decision blocking Afghan investigation The Hague: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court was granted permission on Tuesday to appeal a ruling by judges that blocked an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, a case that has put .. UN Security Council overcomes Chinese veto threat to renew Afghanistan mission Reuters UN The United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed on Tuesday to extend a UN political mission in Afghanistan after last-minute talks overcame a Chinese threat to veto if there was no reference to .. UN experts urge probe into Rohingya killings in Bangladesh AFP Dhaka UN human rights experts have raised new concerns about the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh following a deadly backlash over the killing of a ruling party official. The experts called for an .. 20 killed as truck plunges down ravine in Philippines AFP Manila Twenty people, including children, were killed Tuesday in the southern Philippines when the flatbed truck they were riding in plummeted into a ravine, police said. The vehicle was bringing a group of people .. Macron signals tougher line on immigration Paris: With an eye on re-election, France’s Emmanuel Macron has signalled a tougher line on immigration, arguing that the government must end its “lax” approach to prevent voters from drifting to the far right. Setting .. Trump’s ex-campaign chief defends him, blasts Democrats at impeachment hearing Reuters WASHINGTON Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and close confidant, on Tuesday stoutly defended his former boss and lashed out at Democrats during testimony to a US ..