A Taliban suicide blast in the centre of Kabul killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 40 on Thursday, destroying cars and shops in an area near the headquarters of Afghanistan’s NATO force and the US embassy, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack even as the insurgents and US officials have been negotiating a deal on a US troop withdrawal in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.
“At least 10 civilians have been killed and 42 injured were taken to hospitals,” said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the interior ministry.
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement a Romanian and a US member of the force were killed in action in Kabul, but it did not provide any more details.
A senior Afghan interior ministry official said the two were killed in the suicide bomb attack and their vehicle was the main target.
Video footage and photographs posted on social media showed several cars and small shops torn apart by the blast at a checkpoint on a road near the NATO office and US embassy. Police cordoned off the area.
Witnesses said the suicide bomber blew himself up as many people were standing nearby or crossing the road. Besmellah Ahmadi said he suffered minor wounds and sought shelter in a shop.
“My car windows were shattered. People rushed to get me out,” he told Reuters.
There has been no let-up in violence in Afghanistan even though both the Taliban and US officials have reported progress in negotiations aimed at securing a deal on ending their war.
On Monday, a Taliban suicide truck bomber attacked a compound used by international organisations in Kabul, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 100. A Romanian was among those killed and one was seriously wounded in the attack on the compound, known as the Green Village.—Reuters