Afghanistan: 10 killed as huge explosion rocks Kabul

2nd Jul 2019
Afghanistan: 10 killed as huge explosion rocks Kabul

By Shadi Khan Saif

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): At least 10 people were killed and 65 more injured in a suicide bombing followed by a gunfight at a Defense Ministry installation in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, officials and local media confirmed.

According to the Government Media Information Centre in Kabul, the attack took place in the vicinity of the Pul-e-Mehmood Khan neighborhood close to the old Bazar neighborhood.

An Anadolu Agency correspondent saw the exchange of fire at the ministry’s logistics department in the area. Schoolchildren were among the injured.

According to local Salam Afghanistan radio, at least 10 people were killed in the attack.

The blast site is close to the Afghanistan Football Federation and Ghazi Stadium, a private TV channel and residential compounds, local broadcaster Tolo news reported.

Quoting federation officials, the broadcaster reported that at least 16 members of the federation were wounded. The explosion also damaged their building.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed took responsibility for the attack, claiming on social media that “dozens” of ministry officials and soldiers were killed.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack on civilians, calling it inhuman and a crime against humanity, his office said.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan also expressed its anger over the attack in a densely populated civilian area. “UN deeply saddened by credible reports of many injured children at nearby schools & demands end to indiscriminate blasts in civilian areas in Afghanistan,” it tweeted.

As condemnations of the attack pour in, Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban’s Qatar office, reiterated that no peace talks would be held with the Afghan government. On social media, he said talks would instead be held with the (non-governmental) “Afghan sides” after a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops is agreed on with the presence of international observers.

The deadly attack came as the seventh round of talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, between the U.S. and Taliban entered its third day on Monday.

* Riyaz ul Khaliq contributed to this story

[Photo: Smoke rises from the scene of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 01, 2019. At least 10 people were killed and 65 more injured in a suicide bombing, followed by gunfight at a Defense Ministry’s installation in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday. Photographer: Haroon Sabawoon/AA]

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