Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

Four dead as car bomb targets foreign forces in Kabul

Several US servicemen reported injured in early morning attack

Memmbers of Nato's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan remove a damaged vehicle after a car bomb attack in Kabul on May 31, 2019. AFP
Memmbers of Nato's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan remove a damaged vehicle after a car bomb attack in Kabul on May 31, 2019. AFP

At least four Afghans were killed and several US soldiers were injured when a car bomber attacked a foreign military convoy in Kabul on Friday.

The blast, which was claimed by the Taliban, occurred at around 8.40am when an explosives-laden vehicle drove into the convoy that was travelling in eastern Kabul, according to interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi.

"Unfortunately in the attack, four of our countrymen were martyred and three others wounded – they were passers-by," Mr Rahimi said. "This is our initial information and the figures will likely change."

A spokesman for Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, said four US service members had suffered minor injuries.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group was behind the attack, which he claimed to have killed "10 officers and soldiers of invading forces".

The blast sent a plume of white smoke into the air and spread debris across the busy Jalalabad road in the city's east, an area with several large security compounds which has seen repeated attacks over the years.

Witnesses told Agence France-Presse there were at least three armoured Land Cruiser vehicles in the convoy, one of which was heavily damaged in the explosion and removed from the scene by crane as Afghan and US troops stood guard.

"I was hit in the head by flying glass and many people have suffered injuries," said Abdul Qayum, who was wearing a bandage around his head.

When US forces move about in Kabul, they typically travel in tall, heavily reinforced tactical vehicles that can provide good protection against bombs.

Known as MRAPs, for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, the vehicles are sturdy but present a very visible target.

The attack came a day after an ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military academy in Kabul, killing at least six people.

Taliban insurgents have also carried out numerous attacks against state targets in the Afghan capital despite ongoing peace negotiations with the US. In a parallel peace effort, Moscow hosted a meeting of Taliban and Afghan opposition figures this week without achieving tangible results.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had proposed a nationwide ceasefire at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, but the Taliban rejected the offer and have continued attacks across the country.

Updated: May 31, 2019 04:17 PM

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