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In an attack on Afghan police, Taliban suicide bombers kill 27 and leaves 40 wounded

Three buses were attacked as they approached the Afghan capital from neighboring Wardak province

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Members of Taliban. Image source: www.newsweek.com
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Two Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 27 police and wounded around 40 in an attack on Thursday on buses carrying recently graduated cadets on the western outskirts of Kabul.

A police official said that, according to preliminary information, three buses were attacked as they approached the Afghan capital from neighboring Wardak province.

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“Initial information we have is that two suicide bombers were involved and there are many casualties,” he said, declining to be identified by name.

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack on the western outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack on the western outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Interior Ministry official said at least 27 people were killed and 40 wounded.

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The incident comes 10 days after an attack on a bus carrying Nepali security guards working for the Canadian embassy in Kabul that killed 14 people.

In April, at least 64 people were killed by a Taliban attack on a security services facility in Kabul in the deadliest bombing of its kind in Afghanistan since 2011.

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Air Trade Corridor Between China And Afghanistan Now Open

In the wake of its increased economic engagement in the region, China recently set up a trilateral foreign ministers' level dialogue with Pakistan and Afghanistan

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afghanistan and china
Google Maps. VOA

Landlocked Afghanistan has opened its first direct air link with China, dispatching 20 tons of pine nuts on the inaugural cargo flight.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Chinese diplomats attended the special ceremony Monday in Kabul, hoping the air corridor will lead to increased Afghan exports of dry and fresh fruits to Chinese markets and address a massive trade deficit.

Polio, afghanistan
A boy receives polio vaccination drops during an anti-polio campaign in Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA

 

During the past year, Afghanistan has launched air corridors with India, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

A presidential statement said 20 tons of pine nuts will be exported daily to China until the end of the season this year. Beijing is one of the largest importers of Afghan pine nuts.

Afghan officials estimate the air corridor would enable them to transport 23,000 tons of pine nuts annually to China, earning up to $800 million in revenue.

Ghani described pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and cumin as “the hidden treasures” of Afghanistan, saying the trade corridors would enable the country to utilize its full potential.

Polio, afghanistan
Australia’s Defense Minister Marise Payne (L-R), China’s PLA Lieutenant-General He Lei and Canada’s Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan listens to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018. VOA

Afghan businessmen and traders expect raw materials, including saffron and semi-precious stones, which are found in Afghanistan, will also be exported to China through the newly opened link.

The Afghan government has been searching for alternate trade routes to reduce dependence on uneasy neighbor Pakistan for international trade. Under a bilateral understanding, Islamabad allows Kabul to use Pakistani land routes and sea ports for international exports.

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But Afghan officials and businessmen say political tensions and border skirmishes often prompt Islamabad to close major border crossings for days, hampering overland Afghan shipments, mostly containing perishable goods.

In the wake of its increased economic engagement in the region, China recently set up a trilateral foreign ministers’ level dialogue with Pakistan and Afghanistan to help ease tensions between the two countries and increase mutual security cooperation to fight regional terrorism. (VOA)