KABUL – The Afghan government reported on Saturday that 13 people have died and eight others have been injured in a car bomb attack on an Afghan security forces vehicle in Khost province in southeastern Afghanistan.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish revised the initial death toll of 18 on his Twitter account, reducing it to 13 and elevating the number injured from six to eight.
He added that the eight injured include two children.
Nine vehicles were damaged by the explosion at a bus stop in Khost.
A representative of the governor of Khost, Mubariz Zadran, told EFE that “most of the dead are members of the security forces, although there are also civilians among the dead and wounded.”
According to preliminary information, the attack occurred against the soldiers who were deployed in anti-terrorist tasks.
The soldiers belonged to the Campaign Forces, a body established by United States forces under the jurisdiction of the Afghan government and the National Directorate of Security, as local elite forces.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement claimed the attack on the convoy of forces “were dressed as civilians and were using civilian vehicles.”
He said that in the attack 22 soldiers were killed and there were no civilians in the area, at the same time asserting that the attack had been prepared for months.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a message released by his office on Twitter condemned the terror attack.
On Friday, Ghani had urged all armed groups to establish a truce for the holy month of Ramadan that began Saturday.
The attack, however, is consistent with the Taliban tradition of beginning Ramadan with increased attacks throughout the country.
Since the end of NATO’s combat mission in January 2015, insurgents have been gaining ground in various parts of Afghanistan and currently control, influence, or are in dispute with the government of at least 43 percent of the territory, according to Washington data.