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Bomb explodes in a shop in northern Afghanistan, killing nine civilians

The attack comes after a violent stretch that saw a peace negotiator, 8 NATO troops killed

CNN —  

A bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

The bomb went off at 10 a.m. in a market area crowded with civilians, the ministry said. All of the victims were civilians, including a member of the Faryab provincial council.

The blast comes after a violent past few days that have seen the deaths of eight NATO troops and the assassination of an Afghan official involved in setting up peace talks with the Taliban.

Gunmen killed Moulavi Arsala Rahmani while he was on his way to work Sunday morning, the Interior Ministry said.

The Taliban, which has been fighting government forces and U.S.-led NATO troops for more than a decade, announced recently that peace council members would be targets of its spring offensive. But a Taliban spokesman said Sunday that the group did not kill Rahmani.

He died the same day that Afghanistan released a new list of areas in which responsibility for security will be transferred from U.S. and allied troops to Afghan forces. Those include the city of Kandahar, the Taliban’s historical seat of power and until recently one of its strongholds.

CNN’s Masood Popalzai contributed to this report.