Powerful blast targets NATO convoy in Kabul

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the toll, telling that most of the victims were civilians on the busy main road during the morning rush hour.

Powerful blast targets NATO convoy in Kabul

World Bulletin / News Desk

A powerful blast targeting a foreign forces convoy near the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul killed at least eight people and wounded 25 Wednesday, officials said, the latest attack in the Afghan capital.

"We are still checking the nature of the explosion, but I confirm a convoy of foreign forces was passing by when the explosion happened," he said.

The blast damaged two of the heavily armoured MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles carrying the foreign troops, and left a small crater in the road, witnesses and an AFP photographer said.

MRAPs, which are designed to withstand large explosions, are routinely used by international forces moving around Kabul. Officials have not yet confirmed the nationalities of those caught in the blast.

At least three civilian cars were also damaged, with one ablaze, while windows were shattered up to several hundred metres away. Firefighters and ambulances rushed stunned survivors to hospital. 

One security source told AFP that at least two American soldiers received minor injuries in the blast from a white Toyota Corolla that exploded as the convoy drove by, though that had not been verified by officials. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which came days after the Taliban launched their so-called "spring offensive", in which they vowed to target international troops.

The annual offensive normally marks an upsurge in fighting during warmer weather, though this winter the Taliban continued to battle government forces.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who visited Kabul last month as the US seeks to craft a new strategy in Afghanistan, warned of "another tough year" in the war-torn country for both foreign troops and local forces.

He would not be drawn, however, on recent calls by NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson for a "few thousand" more troops to break the "stalemate" against the insurgents.

Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2017, 09:20
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