Large car bomb kills eight in Afghan capital

KABUL (AP) — A car bomb blast in Afghanistan’s capital yesterday killed at least eight people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian said over 15 others were wounded in the attack including a member of Parliament, Khan Mohammad Wardak.

The dead and wounded included children, women and elders, said Arian. He added this was only the initial report of casualties, and that the toll could rise.

The attack happened while the lawmaker’s convey was passing through an intersection in Kabul’s Khoshal Khan neighbourhood. The blast set afire surrounding civilian vehicles, as well as damaging nearby buildings and shops.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Afghan security personnel inspects the site of a bombing attack in Kabul. PHOTO: AP

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital of Kabul in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students.

IS also claimed responsibility for Saturday’s rocket attacks at the major United States (US) base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties in that assault, according to NATO and provincial officials.

A NATO official confirmed the attack and said initial reports indicated that the airfield was not damaged.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked even as the Taleban and Afghan government negotiators hold talks in Qatar, trying to hammer out a peace deal that could put an end to decades of war. At the same time, the Taleban waged bitter battles against IS fighters, particularly in eastern Afghanistan, while continuing their insurgency against government forces.

Earlier this week, US General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, held an unannounced meeting with Taleban leaders in Doha to discuss military aspects of last February’s US-Taleban agreement.

The agreement, signed in Qatar where the Taleban maintain a political office, was intended to set the stage for direct peace talks between the Taleban and the Afghan government.