At least 16 people were killed, and as many as 100 were injured following a suicide car bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul. The attack was claimed by the Taliban.
The blast took place on Monday night in a residential area near Green Village, a large compound that houses aid agencies and international organisations.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said a coordinated attack with a suicide bomber and gunmen was under way.
The attack came just hours after the US said it had agreed a deal “in principle” with the Taliban for the withdrawal of around 5,000 troops from Afghanistan.
Gunfire could be heard in the aftermath of the blast along with a secondary explosion when a nearby petrol station caught fire, sending plumes of smoke into the night sky.
The Green Village has been a frequent target of attacks.
Many foreigners live in the compound, which is heavily guarded by Afghan forces and private security guards.
The area was targeted by a suicide car bomber in January, killing at least four people and wounding dozens.
The escalating violence has overshadowed expectations over a peace deal between the Taliban and the United States aimed at ending 18 years of war. It was not immediately clear why the Taliban would continue to carry out such attacks when the militant group appears to be getting what it wants in a deal with the US — a troop withdrawal.
The terror group wants all of the some 20,000 US and NATO troops out of Afghanistan immediately, while the US seeks a withdrawal in phases that would depend on the Taliban meeting certain conditions such as a reduction in violence.
Attacks have surged in recent months, aimed to strengthen its negotiating position not only with the US but with the Afghan government.
Source : Various