Blasts shook the market area of the Afghan city of Jalalabad injuring around 66 people including 20 children. The market area was crowded as people congregated to attend Independence Day events. Reportedly, ten blasts were orchestrated at different parts of the city with the market area being the most affected.

Mehtralam, the capital of the eastern province of Laghman, also faced attacks from militants. The venue where Independence Day festivities were being held was targeted. Five rockets were launched at the venue causing injuries to six people. Festivities had ended and a smaller crowd was being served lunch when the militants attacked.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Independence Day attacks. Both the Taliban and ISIS are active in the areas where the militants attacked.

No national fanfare ushered in Afghanistan's 100<sup>th year of Independence. The country is still in mourning after Saturday's suicide-bombing attack claimed 63 lives and injured 200 more at a wedding. As a sign of respect, the Afghan government did not organise any big national ceremony.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his Independence Day address, implored international support towards the country's attempt at eradicating the militants' nests. Ghani did not make any mention of the peace negotiations going on between the US and Taliban.

Taliban released an Independence Day statement referring to their negotiation with the US. The militant group spoke about how they were looking forward to the foreign "invaders" (US forces) leaving their country. They spoke about how the departure of US forces would be just like that of the British and Soviet soldiers.

United States President Donald Trump is pushing negotiations to ensure that the US forces can leave Afghanistan before the 2020 elections.

Even though US troops are working closely with Afghanistan to train the armed forces, Taliban and ISIS remain a looming threat. The Taliban have agreed to a ceasefire while they negotiate with the United States. However, the organisation has refused to have talks with the Afghan government. There is the fear of Taliban and ISIS joining forces to take over Afghanistan after the US troops' departure.

Attacks like the one orchestrated on Saturday and those which took place on Independence Day continue to terrorise the country.

Afghanistan truck bomb Kabul May 2017
An Afghan security force member stands at the site of a bomb attack SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images