No one claimed responsibility for the bombing but President Ashraf Ghani blamed Taliban insurgents despite the spokesperson for the militant group denying links to the attack.

Residents stand amid the debris of a damaged house after a car bomb blast in Herat on March 13, 2021.
Residents stand amid the debris of a damaged house after a car bomb blast in Herat on March 13, 2021. (AFP)

At least eight people were killed and dozens others were wounded as a powerful car bomb struck western Afghanistan's Herat province.

The blast targeted a police headquarters in the city of Herat around 10 pm on Friday, damaging dozens of houses and shops, Jailani Farhad, the spokesman for the Herat provincial governor, told AFP.

"The death toll from a car bomb in the city of Herat increased to eight, and 47 others are wounded," he said, adding that women, children and security personnel were among the dead.

The interior ministry spokesperson, Tariq Arian, confirmed the death toll, adding that 54 had been wounded.

Herat Governor Sayed Abdul Wahid Qatali said several women and children were among the dead, whereas civilians and security forces were among those hurt in the explosion.

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Taliban has no link with blast 

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the blast in Herat had no links to their group.

President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Taliban, adding in a statement the group "continued their illegitimate war and violence against our people" and "showed once again they have no intention for peaceful settlement of the current crises".

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months – including a wave of assassinations against journalists, activists and civil servants, along with the launch of peace talks between the warring Afghan government and Taliban.

READ MORE: Civilian deaths surges in Afghanistan amid Taliban talks – report

UN condemns rising attacks 

On Friday, the UN Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms the alarming number of attacks deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan".

It comes as speculation is rife about the United States' future in Afghanistan after a two-decade military involvement in the country.

US President Joe Biden is wrapping up a review on whether to stick to a n agreement with the Taliban negotiated by his predecessor Donald Trump who wanted to pull out the final US troops by May.

The Biden administration has signalled that it wants to take a hard look at Trump's deal and its repercussions for Afghanistan and regional stability.

Washington recently submitted a draft peace agreement to the authorities in Kabul and to the Taliban, including the creation of a "new inclusive government," according to a letter from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that was revealed by Afghan media.

Russia has backed the initiative, as global powers ramp up efforts to secure a peace deal and end decades of war.

READ MORE: Afghanistan and the false sense of safety

Source: AFP