By Associated Press - Sunday, August 23, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bombing on Sunday in eastern Afghanistan killed seven civilians, a provincial official said, the latest in relentless deadly violence in the country amid new uncertainties over the start of talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in Ghazni province’s Jaghatu district. Three women, two children and two men died when their vehicle struck the roadside bomb, said Wahidullah Jumazada, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of the war across their country despite efforts to launch peace talks and find a road map for post-war Afghanistan.

According to a United Nations report released in July, 1,282 people were killed in violence in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2020 and hundreds more were wounded.

Women and children continue to be disproportionately affected by the direct and indirect impacts of the armed conflict, comprising more than 40% of the total civilian casualties, meaning both the killed and the wounded, the U.N. had said.

The expected start of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban has stalled after Kabul said it would not release the last 320 Taliban prisoners it holds until the insurgents free more captured Afghan soldiers.

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