Officials are blaming the Taliban for the attack, which killed at least nine civilians, including three women.

Smoke rises from the site of a car bomb attack that targeted an Afghan police headquarters in Feroz Koh, the capital of Ghor Province, on October 18, 2020.
Smoke rises from the site of a car bomb attack that targeted an Afghan police headquarters in Feroz Koh, the capital of Ghor Province, on October 18, 2020. (AFP/ FILE PHOTO / AFP)

A roadside bomb tore through a passenger bus in Afghanistan, killing nine civilians.

The attack happened east of the Afghan capital on Saturday in the latest attack blamed on the Taliban.

Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.

The bomb struck the bus while it was travelling from Kabul to the eastern city of Ghazni, Waheedullah Jumazada, spokesman for Ghazni governor told AFP.

"Nine civilians including three women were killed in the explosion," he said.

READ MORE: Suicide car bombing kills several, wounds dozens in western Afghanistan

Four policemen were also wounded, Ghazni police spokesman Adam Khan Seerat said, blaming the Taliban for the attack.

Despite joining peace talks with the government last month, the Taliban have only increased violence in a bid to wield leverage in the negotiations.

The top US envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said earlier this week that fighting is threatening the peace process.

READ MORE: Afghan forces killed in first 'Taliban attack' since ceasefire end

On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks just in the preceding week, accusing the warring sides of failing to protect civilians.

"The world must sit up and take notice. Afghan civilians are being slaughtered on a daily basis," said Omar Waraich, Head of South Asia at Amnesty International.

"The international community must make the protection of civilians a core demand for their ongoing support of the peace process."

Afghan authorities also faced criticism this week after 11 children were killed in an air strike by the military that hit a mosque in the northeastern province of Takhar on Wednesday.

The authorities in Kabul insist that those killed were Taliban fighters operating in that area.

READ MORE: Several dead, dozens wounded in Afghanistan bomb attack

Source: AFP