Taliban car bomb attack in Kabul kills at least 16
Explosion near area where many foreign workers stay
A car bomb blew up in a residential area in Kabul on Monday night, causing a nearby petrol station to catch fire and explode, killing at least 16 people and injuring 119 more.
The blast occurred near Green Village, a large compound that houses aid agencies and international organisations, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were inside the compound and had killed a large number of foreigners.
They also claimed to have “destroyed all foreigner residences and offices inside Green Village”.
The casualties have been transferred to nearby hospitals, Mr Rahimi said, warning that the initial numbers were likely to change. The wounded included children.
Large groups of people gathered outside an Italian hospital in Kabul as they waited for news of loved ones.
The Green Village compound is often the target of attacks because it is home to a large number of foreign workers.
Green Village is separate from the nearby Green Zone, a heavily fortified part of Kabul that is home to embassies including those of the US and Britain.
Social media posts showed smoke rising into the night sky above the Afghan capital.
“Tonight’s attack is revenge on those who bombard and kill innocent Afghans," said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban.
"Soldiers and commander of invaders should take responsibility for this.”
The blast came as an interview with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was being broadcast, in which he discussed a potential deal with the Taliban.
Although negotiations have entered what is widely considered to be the final stages, violence has continued across Afghanistan.
On Saturday, the Taliban tried to seize Kunduz in the north, and on Sunday, they launched an operation in the city of Pul-e Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province.
Updated: September 3, 2019 08:22 AM