Attack on Afghan army base with auto bomb kills at least 30

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It came as the government and Taliban are engaged in peace talks to end the war in the impoverished country that has killed tens of thousands of people in almost two decades. "All of them are security personnel", Baz Mohammad Hemat, director of Ghazni hospital, told AFP. "So far, we have no more details, but we will try to get more information", local government spokesman Wahadullah Jumazada told Xinhua earlier. The gunmen shot dead the guards to the security compound, clearing a way for the Humvee to enter before it detonated.

A suicide auto bomber detonated his explosives close to a public protection unit in Ghazni on Sunday morning, said the spokesman for provincial governor Wahidullah Jumazada.

There has been a sharp rise in violence this year and a surge of attacks by the Taliban against Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces since the start of peace talks in September.

In southern Afghanistan, another suicide vehicle bomber targeted the convoy of a provincial council chief in Zubal, killing at least three people and wounding 21 others, including children, according to provincial spokesman Gul Islam Sial.

The provincial council chief, Attajan Haqbayat, survived the attack on Sunday with minor injuries, though one of his bodyguards was among those killed, said provincial police spokesman Hikmatullah Kochai.

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Brutal attacks have killed more than 50 people in Kabul in recent weeks, including two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but some local officials were already blaming the Taliban, citing the group's history of carrying out attacks like the one in Ghazni Sunday.

The talks had been bogged down by disputes on the agenda, the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations, but agreement has now been reached on all issues, according to sources close to the talks.

The so-called intra-Afghan negotiations, brokered by the United States, are being hosted by Qatar.

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