Bombing at Afghan president's campaign rally kills 24 people

17 September 2019, 11:00 | Updated: 17 September 2019, 15:00

At least 24 people have been killed and at least 30 injured after a suicide bomber targeted a campaign rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The attacker rammed a motorbike packed with explosives into the entrance of the venue in the city of Charakar, and officials have confirmed that Mr Ghani was unharmed.

Hours after the attack, another explosion killed at least 22 people and injured 38 others in the capital of Kabul.

Among the dead were six military personnel and children.

The Taliban said it had carried out the attacks, which come as Afghanistan prepares for a general election at the end of September.

The militant group has previously warned it will target polling stations and election campaigns.

Many women and children were among the casualties following the suicide bombing in Charakar - and the campaign rally had only just begun.

Campaigning in the elections had been halted while the Taliban and the US tried to negotiate a peace deal in Qatar.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US peace envoy, had said a deal was all but signed - but Donald Trump later tweeted that the talks were over and that a deal was dead.

Mr Ghani resumed his campaign almost immediately following the breakdown of talks, and demanded that the election takes place.

There had been suggestions from Mr Khalilzad that an interim government could be implemented in the country, whilst peace talks were taking place.

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During the negotiations, the Taliban opposed elections, refused to agree to a ceasefire and declined to meet the government for talks.

Previous attacks in Kabul had prompted Mr Trump to call time on the peace negotiations - one of which killed two NATO soldiers, one of whom was from the US.

On Monday, another US soldier was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan.