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Deadly gas leak at India chemical plant, hundreds hospitalised

At least five people have been killed and several hundred admitted to local hospitals after a gas leak at a chemicals plant on the east coast of India, police said on Thursday. “We can confirm at least five deaths right now. More will be confirmed later. At least 70 people in the nearby hospitals are…

Deadly gas leak at India chemical plant, hundreds hospitalised

At least five people have been killed and several hundred admitted to local hospitals after a gas leak at a chemicals plant on the east coast of India, police said on Thursday.
“We can confirm at least five deaths right now. More will be confirmed later. At least 70 people in the nearby hospitals are in an unconscious state and overall 200 to 500 locals are still getting treatment (at the hospitals),” said police official Swaroop Rani in the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state.
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She said the incident happened at a plant operated by LG Polymers and that gas leaked out of two 5,000-tonne tanks that had been unattended due to India’s coronavirus lockdown in place since late March.

Spoke to officials of MHA and NDMA regarding the situation in Visakhapatnam, which is being monitored closely. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2020

“It was left there because of the lockdown. It led to a chemical reaction and heat was produced inside the tanks, and the gas leaked because of that,” Rani, an assistant commissioner, told AFP news agency.
“We received an emergency call from the local villagers around 3:30am local time [22:00 GMT] in the morning today. They said there was some gas in the air,” she said.

“We reached there immediately. One could feel the gas in the air and it was not possible for any of us to stay there for more than a few minutes. Prepared rescue workers started working from around 4am [22:30 GMT].”
Images posted on Twitter showed emergency services including police officers, firefighters and ambulances at the location. However, Al Jazeera could not verify the authenticity of the images.
‘Under control’
G Kishan Reddy, the deputy home minister, told Indian news agency ANI that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been asked to provide immediate relief measures.
SN Pradhan, NDRF chief, told ANI that 80 to 90 percent of people had been evacuated.
South Korean battery maker LG Chemical Ltd, the owner of the facility, said the situation was “under control”.
“The gas leak situation is now under control and we are exploring all ways to provide speedy treatment for those who suffer from inhaling the leaked gas,” said LG Chem, which owns the Visakhapatnam plant operator LG Polymers India.

Children affected by a gas leak lay on beds at the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam [AFP]

“We are investigating the extent of damage and exact cause of the leak and deaths,” it added in a statement.
According to the Times of India newspaper, the incident led to panic among locals in a radius of three kilometres (two miles) around the plant with many people seen lying unconscious on the roads.
Others were having breathing problems and complained of rashes on their body and sore eyes, it added.
Ambulances were shown arriving to collect the injured on the roadside to take them to hospitals in the area.
India witnessed in December 1984 one of the worst industrial disasters in history when gas leaked from a pesticide plant in the central city of Bhopal.
Around 3,500 people, mainly in shanties around the plant operated by Union Carbide, died in the days that followed and thousands more in the following years. People continue to suffer its after-effects today.
Government statistics say that at least 100,000 people living near the Union Carbide plant have been victims of chronic illnesses.
Survivors still suffer from ailments such as respiratory and kidney problems, hormonal imbalances, mental illness and several forms of cancer.
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India: Deadly violence breaks out in Bengaluru over Facebook post |NationalTribune.com

At least three people have died in southern India’s Bengaluru city after protesters clashed with police over a provocative social media post about the Prophet Muhammad, police have told Reuters news agency. The Facebook post offensive to Muslims sparked protests in India’s tech hub on Tuesday night in which a police station was attacked, and…

India: Deadly violence breaks out in Bengaluru over Facebook post |NationalTribune.com

At least three people have died in southern India’s Bengaluru city after protesters clashed with police over a provocative social media post about the Prophet Muhammad, police have told Reuters news agency.
The Facebook post offensive to Muslims sparked protests in India’s tech hub on Tuesday night in which a police station was attacked, and a politician’s house and vehicles were torched.
“The situation is under control,” Bengaluru City Police said on Twitter, adding that police fired live ammunition to disperse the crowd after using tear gas and batons.
“Despite elders of the community trying to pacify the crowd, the mob burnt vehicles on the road, they attacked the police station,” Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said.
“The police had no escape and they had to resort to firing and three people died,” Pant said, adding that 110 people had been arrested for alleged vandalism and attacking the police.

[email protected] @INCKarnataka mla Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s house now after the mob torched and ransacked his house last night. pic.twitter.com/mLFTDIgbSA
— Imran Khan (@keypadguerilla) August 12, 2020

A police official said an emergency law prohibiting gatherings had been imposed in Bengaluru, a city of 12 million people best known as India’s Silicon Valley.
Al Jazeera’s Elizabeth Puranam, reporting from New Delhi, said the protesters forced businesses to close.
“Police say a very large group of people broke off into two groups and went around the neighbourhood forcing shopkeepers to close their stalls, damaging properties, setting vehicles on fire before going to two different police stations,” Puranam said.
Person behind FB post arrested
Pant said the person responsible for the offensive post had been arrested. It gave the first name of the accused man as Naveen, and said he is the nephew of Congress politician R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, whose house was attacked and burned in the violence.
The post, which reportedly involved the Prophet Mohammed, has since been deleted. Facebook did not immediately comment on the issue.

Motorists ride past burned vehicles in Bengaluru after violence broke out overnight in Devara Jevana Halli area following a “derogatory” Facebook post [Manjunath Kiran/AFP]

Mufti PM Muzammil of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind appealed for calm, saying that police had taken action against the provocateur.
TV channels showed a group of people gathered outside a police station and clashing with officers, burning several police vehicles. The videos showed the group later trying to force its way into the police station, and another group gathering outside the politician’s house shouting, throwing stones, and setting fire to vehicles parked along the road.
Protesters blocked fire engines, and some media personnel were allegedly attacked, according to reports.
“We are investigating the issue and will make use of the CCTV footages to see who is behind these violent acts, and will take stringent actions,” Karnataka state Home Minister Basavraj Bommai told a local TV news channel.

— 𝗠𝘂𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗱 𝗡𝘂𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗶𝗿 💞 ( نُعَمِّرْ ) (@iam_nuammir) August 11, 2020

‘Let’s not fight… we’re brothers’
A senior leader from the opposition Congress party in the state, Dinesh Gundu Rao, appealed to people not to take the law into their hands.
“If anybody has written anything objectionable the law will take its course and there are so many ways in a democracy to fight for justice,” he tweeted. “But Violence is not the answer.”
“What was written about the Prophet is the working of a sick mind with an intention to create violence.”
Murthy, a member of the state legislature, has also called for peace in a social media post.
“… I request our Muslim friends, for the mistake of some miscreants, let’s not fight. Whatever the fight, we’re brothers…. I request our Muslim kin to please remain peaceful. I will also stand with you,” he was quoted as saying by the newsminute.com website.
Meanwhile, R Ashoka, a state minister, told the same news channel that attacks on police and media would not be tolerated.
“What kind of people attack the police? The media? The local police have been given a free hand to deal with the situation,” he said.
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Deadly skies: Pakistani pilots allege systemic safety failures |NationalTribune.com

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani pilots claim that fraud and improper flight certification practices at the country’s civil aviation regulator are an open secret, while air safety has routinely been compromised by airlines through faulty safety management systems, incomplete reporting and the use of regulatory waivers. Six Pakistani pilots spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, fearing…

Deadly skies: Pakistani pilots allege systemic safety failures |NationalTribune.com

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani pilots claim that fraud and improper flight certification practices at the country’s civil aviation regulator are an open secret, while air safety has routinely been compromised by airlines through faulty safety management systems, incomplete reporting and the use of regulatory waivers.
Six Pakistani pilots spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from their employers or the regulator. 
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s largest airline and only major international carrier, was at the centre of most of the air safety complaints, and denied all of the allegations.  
Scrutiny of Pakistan’s commercial aviation sector has increased as pilots have found themselves battling allegations by the country’s aviation minister that almost a third of all licensed Pakistani pilots had obtained their certifications fraudulently. 
His comments came weeks after a PIA passenger jet crashed in the southern city of Karachi, killing 98 people. 
The names of three of the six pilots Al Jazeera spoke to were on the list of “fake” licence-holders. They deny any wrongdoing. 
State-owned PIA grounded 102 pilots and launched an internal inquiry following the aviation minister’s allegations. Pilots at two other Pakistani airlines, SereneAir and Airblue, were also suspended pending clearance.
A crash, and its wake
On May 22, a PIA Airbus A320 crashed into a residential neighbourhood in the southern city of Karachi, killing 97 of the 99 people on board as well as one person on the ground, according to official data. 
While releasing the preliminary investigation report into the crash, Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the crash appeared to be due to “human error”. 
He also announced that a separate, ongoing government inquiry had found that 262 of the country’s 860 licensed pilots had obtained their credentials fraudulently. A list of the pilots was drawn up and sent to airlines.
At least 28 pilots have had their licences cancelled since the announcement, while inquiries into the remaining pilots are ongoing, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) says.
Pilots’ bodies criticised the announcement, claiming the government’s list had a number of errors such as including the names of deceased pilots, confusing pilots with similar names, and classifying pilots as belonging to airlines they had never flown with or taking exams they never attempted.

[Illustration by Jawahir al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

One of the major criteria for being listed – having flown a flight on the same day as an exam – has also been disputed, including by all six pilots Al Jazeera spoke to, who said that taking an exam in the morning and flying later in the day was “routine” and within regulations.  
Pakistani aviation regulations are unclear on the specific issue of taking exams on the same day as a scheduled flight, requiring only that pilots be “adequately rested” before undertaking flight duties.
Within days of the list being released, civil aviation regulators in at least 10 countries and territories, including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Turkey and Hong Kong, grounded pilots holding Pakistani licences and asked the PCAA to verify their credentials. 

At least 166 of those 176 verification requests have been cleared, the PCAA says.
Flight safety authorities in the European Union and United Kingdom banned flights by Pakistan’s state-owned PIA into those territories, while the US Federal Aviation Authority downgraded the airline’s safety rating and revoked a limited authorisation for the airline to operate repatriation flights to and from that country.
The Pakistan Air Line Pilots Association (PALPA), the country’s main body representing pilots, has disputed the veracity of the list from the beginning, claiming there was no fraud and that the list was built mainly on clerical errors. 
Now, however, several pilots have revealed to Al Jazeera the existence of a longstanding “pay to pass” scheme at the country’s aviation regulator.
‘Easier to cheat’
“I am witness to it. I don’t even have to think about it, I have witnessed it,” said “Pilot A”, whose name was on the list of suspected licences. “It’s a well-known thing in the industry that you can either do it the regular way or you can pay someone to [cheat] for you.”
Pilot A said that he had been approached by colleagues with an offer to help him cheat, with the aid of PCAA officials, in exchange for payment when he had been attempting his commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) written exams in 2009.
Pilot A said that when he and three others reported the fraud to senior PCAA officials, they were repeatedly failed on their final CPL exam until they “apologised”.
“Everyone [in our group of whistle-blowers] who apologised to [the PCAA official], the next attempt they cleared their exams.”
“Pilot B”, a senior instructor at a flight school and later a commercial pilot at PIA, said that while committing fraud on the tests was not widespread, the availability of the option was well known.
“It was easier to [cheat] than to not do it,” he said. “They give you a bank of 40,000 questions. Then you can either study for it and try to pass, or you pay to get the answer key [from someone].” 
In 2011, the PCAA changed its testing processes, increasing the number of exams from three to eight, based on European Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR) standards, and introducing personalised computerised tests for pilots.
Pilots say the method of fraud then changed to paying corrupt PCAA officials to allow them to bypass taking the exams altogether.
“[PCAA employees would] put in the [data] and do the exam and mark you as whatever grade you got,” said another pilot, “Pilot C”. “So you give me [a multiple of] 100,000 rupees ($600) and I’ll make it happen on my day off. […] They were minting money.” 
Other pilots put the price of passing individual exams at between Rs40,000 and Rs100,000 ($240-$600).
Authorities say the current investigation was initiated by a commercial aircraft accident in the southwestern town of Panjgur in November 2018, when an ATR-72 aircraft overshot the runway. An investigation found the lead pilot’s licence had been issued based on an exam supposedly taken on a public holiday, when the PCAA is closed.

[Illustration by Jawahir al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

To obtain their licences, commercial pilots are also required to undertake both real-world and simulator check-rides. They regularly repeat those tests to maintain the validity of the licences.
Pilots told Al Jazeera that it was “routine” for instructors and PCAA officials to pass pilots on yearly or biannual simulation check rides, as well as on licensing flight check-rides, based on pressure from the regulator, other parties or the two pilots’ previous relationship.
“It was so common to do this, to be told to just sign a licence [without certifying],” said Pilot B, of his time as a flight instructor. “It was unbelievable to me.”
Pilot B said he faced punitive action by the regulator if he did not comply with requests to pass pilots, citing the example of one pilot who had not completed the required flight hours.
“When I refused, my licence was put into audit and I was accused of having a forged logbook,” he said.
Pilot A said he once witnessed a PCAA official pressure a foreign flight instructor to pass a pilot on a simulator check-ride conducted in Indonesia.
“In 2018, he crashed an aircraft on a single-engine emergency 11 times [in a row] on a [simulator] check-ride,” said Pilot A. “And yet was cleared.”
“Later, [that pilot] told me about how to pass papers fraudulently in the PCAA.” 
The PCAA says a full-scale investigation into the allegations is ongoing, and that five officials at the regulator, including two senior officers, have been suspended so far. 
“I can assure we are working day and night,” aviation ministry spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar told Al Jazeera. “We are not trying to punish someone innocent, or to spare anyone who is guilty.”
‘Ticking time bomb’
Pakistan has had a troubled aircraft safety record, with five major commercial or charter airliner crashes in the last decade alone, killing 445 people.
In the same period, there have been numerous other non-fatal safety incidents, including engines shutting down in mid-flight or on takeoff, landing gear failure, runway overruns and on-the-ground collisions, according to official reports and pilot testimony. 
In 2019, Pakistan’s aviation industry registered 14.88 accidents per million departures, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), far above the global average of 3.02. 

[Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera]

On June 30, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) identified six areas of concern with the airline, singling out the failure to effectively implement the Safety Management System – more than nine months since the EU regulator had first raised the issue as part of its regular audit of PIA’s air safety compliance – as the primary reason for suspending the operator’s authorisation.
Pilots told Al Jazeera the crashes and accidents were a result of a systematic disregard for air safety protocols in some airlines, including PIA. 
Many of the concerns centre around allegations that PIA’s Safety Management System (SMS) and Flight Data Management System (FDMS), designed to identify unsafe flight manoeuvres or patterns of unsafe flying, are routinely ignored.
“There have been so many safety violations,” said “Pilot D”, a senior PIA pilot with 13 years of commercial aviation experience. “The European Union Aviation Safety Agency report did not come because of the crash or the ‘fake’ licences, it was a ticking time bomb.”
“[The airline] does not lack the safety management system, it has it, but it has no respect for safety culture,” said Pilot D.
“When the regulator and operator share a bed, then things become very difficult,” he said, alleging that PCAA, a government-run agency, routinely turned a blind eye to the actions of the state-owned PIA. 
“If I want to do a violation, there is provision that … I can get a waiver from the CAA, for emergency use only.”  
Pilot D, and other pilots, said the use of waivers had “become a norm in PIA”, for violations such as poorly equipped aircraft being dispatched, or for limitations on how many hours flight crews can operate.
“Aircraft were getting dispatched without the correct parts on board. Operating with less than the prescribed number of crew. Sending crews who are unqualified to run certain routes. All of this was meant to be covered by PCAA, but because there was collusion with the PIA management, there were no consequences,” said Pilot D.
Al Jazeera reviewed flight logs showing flight duty time limitation (FDTL) violations on at least eight occasions in 2020 alone, with flight duties ranging from 19 hours to more than 24 hours. The maximum FDTL under PCAA regulations for an aircraft with two full crews onboard is 18 hours, subject to waivers.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, PIA denied any regulations had been violated with respect to flight duty times. It said “a handful” of waivers had been obtained due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The PCAA confirmed waivers had been given for the purpose of emergency repatriation flights but denied that they were given routinely.
‘Hot-and-high’ approaches
Pilot B, who also works with the safety department of PIA, said pilots had been encouraged to conduct approaches to airports “hot and high” – meaning flying for longer at higher altitudes, approaching runways at a steep angle of descent and higher speed – to save fuel. 
“If you come hot and high then you are cruising higher and saving fuel on the way down,” said Pilot B.
“[Management] started writing emails saying that pilots need to log how much fuel they use and how much they saved. Pilots with the highest fuel savings were given the best routes.” 
David Greenberg, an international aviation consultant with more than 40 years of experience, said such approaches were inherently unsafe. 
“It’s like going down an unstable staircase, and the first thing you do is remove the handrail and then see if you can get to the bottom of the staircase before anyone else,” he told Al Jazeera. 

[Illustration by Jawahir al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

Pilot B said there had been more than 30 runway overruns – where pilots had missed their targeted landing range on the runway – and at least three runway threshold overruns – where aircraft actually departed the runway – in the last year alone, all based on a pattern of “hot and high” approaches. PIA denied the allegations. 
In one incident in the northern town of Gilgit in July 2019, a PIA-operated ATR-42 aircraft skidded off the end of the runway, completely wrecking the aircraft. There were no fatalities.
“We have a full software for safety that is never monitored,” said “Pilot E”, referring to the SMS and FDMS.
Irfan Ajmal Chaudhry, a senior pilot who flew with PIA for 35 years and is now retired, said the number of recent safety incidents and runway overruns was “alarming”. 
“The FDMS is supposed to give you an early alarm, it monitors the trends that are happening,” he said. “It needs to be taken very seriously.”
The airliner that crashed in Karachi in May had refused Air Traffic Control (ATC) guidance on its altitude on approach, registering at 9,780ft (2980 metres) when 15 nautical miles from the runway, according to flight data in the preliminary investigation report, more than 6,700ft (2042m) higher than advised by ATC. 
“It became obvious that this hot-and-high thing was an issue that needs to be handled by the regulator,” said Pilot B. “We’d had three overruns which were all incidents [in the last year], the fourth one may not be so lucky. We told them that the fourth one could kill people. And the fourth one was [the crash].”
‘There was chaos’
Pilots said that at PIA and other airlines they were actively discouraged from filing air safety reports (ASRs), a primary means of reporting safety incidents that may have occurred in-flight.
“In Pakistan, they don’t know how to manage ASRs and safety reports,” said Pilot C. “Now, if there is an ASR, you can get in trouble. So guess what? You’re not going to raise an ASR.” 
Greenberg, the aviation consultant, described the combination of lax reporting, loose regulatory control and inconsistent safety protocols as “a recipe for disaster”.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, PIA denied any wrongdoing regarding safety protocols. 
“It is absurd to even suggest that,” said Abdullah Khan, the airline’s spokesperson. “It is true that the management is pushing reforms in the organisation, which had been plagued by a number of challenges, however, safety always takes precedence over anything else.” 
The issues are not limited to PIA, however, said pilots with experience in other airlines. 
Pilot A narrated an incident on board a flight operated by a different airline to the capital, Islamabad, in 2018, where the captain refused to follow Pilot A’s advice as first officer to divert the aircraft to Lahore due to extreme weather. 
After remaining in a holding pattern for 45 minutes, the captain decided to land the aircraft through the extreme weather, which had seen several other flights divert to other airports, says A.
“It was turbulent, it was bumpy and there was chaos on approach to runway 12,” said Pilot A. “The captain froze at the controls and started praying to God.” 
Pilot A was forced to take over control of the aircraft, landing it safely in Islamabad after another argument with the captain approximately six nautical miles out from the runway. 
No safety report was ever filed, and no disciplinary action was taken following the incident. 
Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.
Additional reporting by Alia Chughtai in Karachi, who tweets @AliaChughtai.
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Deadly blast hits Kabul mosque during Friday prayers |NationalTribune.com

A blast in a mosque during Friday prayers in the western part of capital Kabul has killed at least four people and wounded at least eight, Afghanistan’s interior ministry said. “Explosives placed inside the Sher Shah Suri Mosque exploded during Friday prayers,” said a statement issued by the ministry, which added that the mosque’s prayer…

Deadly blast hits Kabul mosque during Friday prayers |NationalTribune.com

A blast in a mosque during Friday prayers in the western part of capital Kabul has killed at least four people and wounded at least eight, Afghanistan’s interior ministry said.
“Explosives placed inside the Sher Shah Suri Mosque exploded during Friday prayers,” said a statement issued by the ministry, which added that the mosque’s prayer leader Azizullah Mofleh was among those killed.
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Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said police have cordoned off the area and helped move the wounded to ambulances and nearby hospitals.
Arian told Anadolu Agency that the incident took place in the posh Karta-4 neighbourhood of the city.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but a mosque attack earlier this month was claimed by an ISIL (or ISIS) group affiliate, headquartered in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.
“Interestingly, every time you have the peace process gaining some momentum and pace, you have these kinds of attacks in the country,” Habib Wardak, a national security analyst based in Kabul, told Al Jazeera.
“The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack that happened last week on a mosque in Kabul, so despite the fact that you have these news and press conference from the government that they have eliminated ISIL, how can they conduct such sophisticated operations?”
The Taliban was quick to distance itself from the attack.
In a social media post, the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said this attack is part of conspiracy by the “enemy” at a crucial time when peace talks are advancing.
The Afghan government dubbed the attack  as “inhuman” and “against the principles of Islam.”
Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO’s senior civilian representative in Kabul, stressed the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
“As we face a historical opportunity for peace, spoilers can’t be allowed to disrupt it. We stand with #Afghanistan in the fight against terror,” he said on Twitter.

“I strongly condemn the attack on Sher Shah Suri mosque. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. As we face a historical opportunity for peace, spoilers can’t be allowed to disrupt it. We stand with #Afghanistan in the fight against terror.”- #NATO SCR @pontecorvoste
— NATO in Afghanistan (@NATOscr) June 12, 2020

Friday’s blast had parallels to one earlier this month, when an explosion tore apart a famous Kabul mosque and led to the death of renowned Afghan cleric Maulvi Ayaz Niazi.
“In this attack, the imam seems to be the target, not the rest of the crowd. These are the imams who have supported the peace process with the Taliban movement,” Wardak said.
“The other political aspect for these kinds of attacks is that there are peace spoilers trying to convey a message that peace with the Taliban will not eradicate violence in the country because you have ISIL.”

People inspect the interior of the Kabul mosque following the blast [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Violence has spiked in recent weeks in Afghanistan with most of the attacks claimed by the ISIL affiliate.
The United States blamed the armed group for a horrific attack last month on a maternity hospital in the capital that killed 24 people, including two infants and several new mothers.
The ISIL affiliate also took responsibility for an attack on a bus carrying journalists in Kabul on May 30, killing two.
It also claimed credit for an attack on the funeral of a strongman loyal to the government last month that killed 35 people.
Meanwhile, the US is attempting to broker peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to end 18 years of war.
Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in the region earlier this week trying to resuscitate a US peace deal with the Taliban.
The peace deal signed in February calls for the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from Afghanistan in return for a commitment by the Taliban to not launch attacks on the US or its allies.
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