At least 24 killed as blast rocks Kabul near state buildings, US embassy

KABUL: At least 24 people were killed and several wounded after an explosion rocked central Kabul on Tuesday.

Several major Afghan security agencies are based in the area, including US Embassy and the National Directorate of Security. The Ministry of Defence and the presidential palace are also within a few hundred metres.

A number of people were killed and wounded in a blast, President Ashraf Ghani said, an attack that apparently targeted the offices of Afghanistan’s main security agency.

The Presidential Palace condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” and said in a statement a number of people had been killed or wounded.

A spokesman for an emergency hospital in the city said the facility had received eight lightly wounded Afghan soldiers.

There was no indication of what caused the blast, nor any claim of responsibility, although both the Taliban and the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network have carried out attacks in the city in the past.

The Taliban-led insurgency has gained strength since the withdrawal of international forces from combat at the end of 2014 and the Taliban are stronger than at any point since they were driven from power by US-backed forces in 2001.

The US embassy said it was not affected by the blast. The NATO-led force also said it was unaffected.

(Reuters inputs)

11:09 AM
Afghan president says several killed and wounded in Kabul blast

A number of people were killed and wounded in a blast, President Ashraf Ghani said, an attack that apparently targeted the offices of Afghanistan’s main security agency.

The Presidential Palace condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” and said in a statement a number of people had been killed or wounded.