AP/ PTI

Blast in eastern Afghanistan kills 3, wounds 7 at hotel frequented by Pakistani refugees

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Islamabad: An explosion ripped through a hotel in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding seven others, police said.

The blast occurred at a city hotel frequented by Afghan people and refugees from Pakistan’s former militant stronghold of North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, said Mustaghfir Gurbaz, a police spokesperson in Khost.

He said officers were investigating to determine what caused the blast and who was behind it.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Afghanistan’s Taliban government has blamed the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group – known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province – for previous attacks.

Gurbaz provided no information about the Pakistani refugees staying at the hotel. Authorities in Pakistan have said members of the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, are hiding in Khost and elsewhere in Afghanistan.

TTP is a separate group but is a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

Pakistani officials say many TTP leaders and fighters have found sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, which also emboldened the Pakistani Taliban.

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