Officials in Afghanistan say two back-to-back bombs went off Tuesday in central Bamiyan province, killing at least 14 people and injuring 50 others.
The deadly violence in the predominantly minority Shiite Hazara region is the first such attack since the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan 19 years ago and ousted the Taliban from power.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed the late afternoon bombings in the main market of the provincial capital, also known as Bamiyan. He said almost all of the victims were civilians, which included children.
Faroghuddin Ameri, head of the provincial hospital, told VOA that several of the wounded were in “critical condition,” and he feared the death toll could rise.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the carnage.
A Taliban spokesman quickly denied the group’s involvement, saying it “condemns attacks on civilian targets.”
The denial raised suspicions that the violence could be the work of Islamic State, which has routinely admitted bombings and other violent attacks against members of the Hazara community residing in the capital, Kabul.
Tuesday’s violence in Bamiyan happened the same day that donor nations met in Geneva and pledged financial assistance for the turmoil-hit South Asia nation.
Voice of America – English