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AP, March 2, 2018

Huge blast kills little girl in Kabul, leaves other kids wounded

At least 22 people have been wounded in a suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul close to foreign embassies

People gather at the site of a suspected suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2, 2018
People gather at the site of a suspected suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A large explosion in the eastern part of Afghanistan's capital city on Friday morning killed at least one person, a young girl, and wounded 15, Afghan officials said. Basir Mujahid, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said the blast occurred in the eastern neighborhood of Qabil Bay, in an area that is home to a police station, the government's customs offices and some guest houses.

Mohammad Musa Zahir, a doctor at the area's Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, said 15 people were also wounded in the blast, including five children and two women.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the source of the explosion was a vehicle belonging to a foreign company but did not name it or specify if the blast was a bombing.

The police have not confirmed a casualty toll and no militant group claimed responsibility for the explosion.

At the blast site in the Qabil Bay neighborhood, blood pooled on the pavement amid rubble in front of a destroyed building. Residents in the area said the explosion was a suicide attack, speaking on condition of anonymity for fears for their safety.

Kabul has recently seen a spate of large-scale militant attacks by the Taliban and also the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose affiliate in Afghanistan has grown stronger since it emerged in 2014.

In late January, a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235.

The Taliban claimed the ambulance attack, as well as an attack a week earlier in which militants stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing 22 people, including 14 foreigners, and setting off a 13-hour battle with security forces.

The recent attacks have underscored the weaknesses of Afghan security forces more than 16 years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban.

On Wednesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on the Taliban to take part in peace talks to "save the country," offering security and incentives such as passports to insurgents who join the negotiations.

Separately, the Taliban said Friday they released five of a total of 19 people they say they abducted on Tuesday along the boundary between the southern Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces.

At the time, Gen. Abdul Raziq, Kandahar's police chief, said insurgents wearing army uniforms stopped a bus and abducted 30 people. There was no information on the fate of the others.

Category: Taliban/ISIS/Terrorism, Children, HR Violations - Views: 1057