Bomb attack misses Afghan vice president but kills 10

A roadside bomb in Kabul targeted Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Wednesday morning but he escaped unharmed, his spokesman said. The attack killed at least 10 people.

The Taliban denied involvement in the attack, which comes just ahead of long-awaited peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha.

“Today, once again the enemy of Afghanistan tried to harm Saleh, but they failed in their evil aim, and Saleh escaped the attack unharmed,” Razwan Murad, a spokesman for Mr Saleh’s office, wrote on Facebook.

He told Reuters the bomb targeted Mr Saleh’s convoy and some of his bodyguards were injured.

Mr Saleh appeared in a video on his social media accounts soon after, saying he had sustained a minor burn on his face and an injury to his hand in the attack.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that Taliban fighters were not involved in the blast.

The former intelligence chief and the senior of President Ashraf Ghani’s two vice-presidents has survived several assassination attempts, including one on his office last year that killed 20 people.

Wednesday’s blast killed at least 10 and wounded 15, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

“Such attacks won’t weaken our resolve for a lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan,” Javid Faisal, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a tweet.

International powers including the European Union and Pakistan also condemned the attack.

“This is an attack on the Republic, & desperate act by spoilers of peace efforts, who must be collectively confronted,” the EU Delegation in Afghanistan said in a statement on Twitter.

Officials and diplomats have warned that rising violence is sapping trust needed for the success of talks aimed at ending an insurgency that began when the Taliban was ousted from power in Kabul by US-back forces in late 2001.

Death toll from wildfires devastating American West soars to 33

The death toll from the wildfires devastating the American West has soared to 33, officials have revealed.

Nevertheless, at least 33 fatalities have now been confirmed in the states of California, Washington and Oregon, according to the Associated Press.

Even cities such as Seattle and Portland, themselves located many miles from the fires, have been engulfed in smog.

Warnings about air quality have been issued to residents.

Wildfires in California

The Seattle Times said air quality was expected to get better after a “super-massive” smoke plume billowed into the region over the weekend.

Washington governor Jay Inslee told ABC News about a woman he had spoken to the in the town of Malden, which had been “absolutely decimated”.

“What struck me, as I was listening to her, the only moisture in Eastern Washington was the tears of people who have lost their homes and mingling with the ashes,” he said.

“Now we have a blowtorch over our states in the West, which is climate change, and we know that climate change is making fires start easier, spread faster and intensify.”

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