A car bomb in the Afghan capital Kabul has killed at least nine people and wounded more than 15, including a member of parliament.
The death toll from Sunday’s attack could rise, interior ministry spokesman, Tariq Arian said, adding that the dead included women, children, and the elderly. He said, “The terrorist have carried out a terrorist attack in Kabul city.”
The attack happened while the convoy of lawmaker Khan Mohammad Wardak 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.
A security source said, “It was a powerful explosion that has caused a lot of damage to houses in the vicinity.”
Television footage showed at least two cars on fire, with billowing plumes of thick black smoke. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far. Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise in violence, particularly bombings, in recent weeks as the Afghan government and Taliban hold talks to find an end to the country’s almost 20-year-long war.
Separate bombings were also reported on Sunday in the provinces of Logar, Nangarhar, Helmand, and Badakhshan, in which a number of civilians and security forces members were killed and injured.
On Friday, a suspected rickshaw bomb blast killed at least 15 civilians, including 11 children, in central Ghazni province.
The Afghan interior ministry in a statement said that the Taliban had; killed 487 civilians and injured 1,049 others by carrying out 35 suicide attacks; and 507 blasts across the country over the past three months.
The ISIL (ISIS) armed group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks; in Kabul in recent months, including on educational institutions, that killed 50 people, mostly students.
ISIL also claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on the main US base in Afghanistan on Saturday. There were no causalities in that attack, according to NATO and provincial officials. A NATO official confirmed the attack and said initial reports indicated that the airfield was not damaged.
The Afghan government and the Taliban have been holding peace talks; aimed at ending decades of war for more than two months; but the country’s brutal conflict continues.
The talks, which were launched in September in Qatar following; a landmark US-Taliban agreement reached in February, have been suspended; and will resume on January 5.
The US agreed to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by May 2021; in exchange for security guarantees and a commitment from the Taliban to hold talks with the Kabul government.