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1 killed, 8 mostly journalists injured in bomb blast in northern Afghanistan

At least one person was killed and eight others, including journalists, were injured in a bomb blast on Saturday in a city in northern Afghanistan that has been the target of a suicide bombing and multiple killings in recent days.

According to local media, the explosion took place in the morning at an event in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, where journalists were to be honored.

“So far, one person has been killed and eight others, including five journalists, have been injured,” state-run Bakhtar News Agency reported, citing Abdul Nafay Takor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

He added that the bomb was apparently planted ahead of the event at Tabyan Cultural Center.

It was the second explosion in three days after a suicide attack in Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday that left three people dead, including a prominent Taliban figure and Balkh Governor Mullah Muhammad Dawood Muzammil.

In the same city earlier on Wednesday, Taliban forces carried out an operation against people they claimed were involved in kidnappings, which resulted in at least eight fatalities.

“Our security forces conducted an operation in Mazar-e-Sharif and eliminated eight kidnappers. The kidnappers were eliminated after they showed armed resistance,” Takor was quoted by Tolo News as saying.

However, relatives of the deceased protested outside the UNAMA office on Saturday, charging the Taliban with murdering innocent people.

The protesters claimed that their relatives worked in the private sector and were unrelated to any kidnapping incidents.

“I want justice. Whoever gave false information should be questioned about why they did so,” Samandar, a family member of the victims, told the broadcaster.

“They are responsible for their own answers. How come they fired at them? Why were these young people martyred when they had done nothing wrong? according to Abdul Baqi, the victim’s other relative.

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