Nearly 100 wounded by Taliban-linked bomb in Afghanistan

By Reuters Source:AFP Published: 2019/8/7 21:38:40

A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb outside a police station in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday wounding at least 95 people, government officials said, and the Taliban claimed responsibility.

There has been no let-up in violence in Afghanistan even though the Taliban and the United States appear close to a historic pact for US troops to withdraw in exchange for a Taliban promise that the country would not be used as a base from which to plot attacks by extremists.

The blast, in the west of the city during the morning rush hour, sent a huge cloud of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

The Taliban said a "recruitment center" had been attacked by one of their suicide bombers.

"A large number of soldiers and police were killed or wounded," the Taliban said in a statement.

Government security officials said they were searching the scene and expected to update casualty details later.

The bomb went off when a vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint outside the police station, said interior ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi.

A health ministry spokesperson said 95 wounded people had been taken to hospitals. Most of them were civilians, including women and children, he said.

"Again a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul targets a civilian area that resulted in harming of so many innocents," Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesperson for President Ashraf Ghani, said on Twitter.

The blast came a day after the Taliban called for a boycott of a September 28 presidential election and threatened to attack election rallies.

Separately, security forces conducted raids on two Islamic State militant hideouts in Kabul on Tuesday night, killed two militants and seized a large quantity of explosives and bomb-making equipment, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said.

Three members of the security forces were also killed, an agency spokesman said.

Both the US peace envoy leading talks with the Taliban, and the Taliban reported significant progress this week in their talks in Qatar aimed at ending the US' longest war.

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