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Bombing in western Afghanistan kills 7

08 Juin 2017

A peace conference on Tuesday called by Mr Ghani is expected to invite representatives of two dozen countries, but with many embassies either having been hit in the 31 May bombing, which targeted the diplomatic quarter, or having sent many diplomats home, the conference is unlikely to be more than a talking shop.

The Afghan president said that more than 150 people were killed and more than 300 were wounded by the truck bombing outside the German Embassy last week, making it possibly the deadliest such attack since the USA -led invasion in 2001.

However on the issue of Pakistan, he said Afghanistan is suffering an "undeclared war of aggression from Pakistan".

He also called on the global community to make good on its promise to end state sponsorship of terrorism.

Ghani also acknowledged that "Taliban-sponsored terrorism is creating a platform that is bringing terrorists to Afghanistan and Pakistan".

Indian officials heaved a sigh of relief that no damage was caused to life or property in Tuesday's rocket attack but acknowledged that the incident has again highlighted the need for further beefing up the security of Indian assets in the embattled nation.

Underscoring the growing insecurity, a motorcycle bomb exploded near the Grand Mosque in the western city of Herat, killing seven people and wounding 16 according to the interior ministry. The situation becomes murkier as Afghan Taliban have categorically stated that they had nothing to do with these attacks and instead they condemned them.

But the violence of the past days and the outburst of public anger over security failures has ratcheted up tensions in the government, which has been under increasing strain over the past few months as security has deteriorated.

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"We have seen other attempts at peace but majority haven't been here in the Afghan capital, majority have been outside of the country", Glasse said. "It demonstrates the confidence that the worldwide community has in the government and Afghan society at large to find a common vision for countering terrorism and ensuring peace".

There are already 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

Official estimates had earlier put the toll at 90 with over 460 persons injured in the attack.

The initiative has been taken by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as his administration is facing a daunting challenge to stabilise the country in the face of growing threats posed by the Afghan Taliban as well as Da'ish.

The Taliban denied involvement in the attack, but Afghan intelligence said in a statement they believe the Haqqani Network, a Pakistani group aligned with the Taliban, was behind it. Twenty people died in that attack.

"Signing mutual non-interference or anti-terror support agreements won't change anything", said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, noting that similar accords had been signed in the past. "One hopes this meeting today in Kabul provides more clarity from Washington", said Davood Moradian, director of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies in Kabul. "And the Afghan government is increasingly seen as part of the problem, with its internal divisions".

"Afghans. It's always Afghans", she said, when asked who suffered in such attacks. Ghani's own foreign minister apparently even boycotted the gathering, as antigovernment demonstrators continued to defy orders to leave camps they had set up in the city.

Bombing in western Afghanistan kills 7