Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a compound housing foreign nationals on Tuesday, calling for it to be shut down just hours after a bomb targeting the facility killed at least 16 people and wounded more than 100 others. The powerful tractor bomb exploded at 10 p.m. outside the Green Village, a large compound in eastern Kabul where a number of international organizations are based. The blast came even as the top US negotiator in peace talks with the Taliban appeared on Afghan television and said US and Taliban officials had reached a draft agreement. The attack shook Kabul and reignited fears that Taliban violence against civilians is on the rise, despite US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s announcement. According to the draft agreement that Khalilzad described Monday, 5,400 U.S. troops would exit Afghanistan within about five months after a deal is signed.
The Taliban quickly asserted responsibility for Monday night’s attack, saying in a statement that it had targeted “foreign invaders.” But initial reports suggested that the victims were entirely Afghans, including three members of the security forces. Officials said about 400 foreign nationals were evacuated from the heavily guarded premises. — Agencies