6 civilians dead in suicide bomb attack in east Afghanistan

The attack took place in Jalalabad, capital of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. Photograph:( Getty )

AFP Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan Oct 31, 2016, 11.54 AM (IST)

At least 6 civilians were killed and six others wounded after a suicide bomber set off explosives upon a gathering of tribal elders in Afghanistan's Jalalabad on Monday, AFP reported. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the in the Nangarhar province capital, a hotbed of the Islamic State (IS).

Afghan forces have recently stepped-up anti-IS operations in the province, AFP reported.

A police spokesman confirmed the toll, adding that the wounded had been taken to hospital.

The blast occurred as tribal elders gathered at the residence of the former district governor to seek aid for war-displaced families.

"Six civilians were killed and six others were wounded in the suicide attack on a gathering of elders in Jalalabad," provincial spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.

Taliban insurgents are active in Nangarhar, but the province also faces an emerging threat from loyalists of the Syria-headquartered Islamic State (IS) group, which is making gradual inroads in Afghanistan --- challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

Last week, militants linked to IS jihadists abducted and killed around 30 civilians, including children, in the central province of Ghor, raising concerns about the group's expanding presence beyond its eastern stronghold.

(WION with inputs from AFP)