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Kabul suicide blast kills four, targets justice ministry

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on the Afghan Ministry of Justice in the capital Kabul. The city's police chief told DW that four civilians were killed, blaming "enemies of Afghanistan."

A suicide car bomber struck the parking lot of the justice ministry in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least four and wounding dozens more. The attack coincided with evening rush hour when ministry staff would be heading for their cars, the blast severely damaged dozens of parked vehicles.

"A suicide bomber exploded his car in a parking lot which is being used by the justice ministry," Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahim told DW. "The incident has killed four and left 24 others wounded."

Rahim said that those killed were civilians, but added that government staff might be among the wounded. Asked who was behind the attack, he said "enemies of Afghanistan," common official parlance for the Taliban insurgency.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued an email statement to reporters shortly thereafter claiming responsibility for the attack, saying the insurgents would continue to target "slave" judges and prosecutors.

Afghanistan Kabul Bombenanschlag

The attack seemed to be timed in a bid to catch as many people as possible in the parking lot

Tuesday's attack was the third targeting employees of Afghanistan's justice system in a little more than two weeks.

The Taliban tends to intensify its attacks in the northern hemisphere's spring and summer months: over the weekend,

Kabul's airport was the target

; and late last week, 14 people were killed in a

hostage-taking at a guest house

in the capital popular with foreigners.

Asked about the recent increase in attacks in the capital, police chief Rahim said that a longer-term view was more appropriate.

"I don't think there has been an increase in security incidents in Kabul," Rahim said. "There wasn't any attack in Kabul for four or five months. We have only witnessed some incidents in recent days. We used to have two to three incidents every day in the past. I think the situation has improved."

According to an Associated Press reporter at the scene, windows of nearby buildings were blown out by Tuesday's blast, usually a sign of a large explosion.

msh/se (AFP, AP)

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