A suicide bomber has targeted a Western military convoy in Kabul, just days after the militant group overtook a key northern city . The number of casualties from the bombing has yet to be confirmed.
The explosion rocked central Kabul on Sunday, in what authorities say was a suicide attack against a NATO convoy.
A local police spokesman told the AFP news agency that a car bomb had been detonated in the Joy Shir neighborhood of Kabul during rush hour. Later, a NATO spokesman confirmed to the news agency that there had been an attack directed at their convoy. While there have been reports of civilian casualties, no numbers have been confirmed.
Taliban insurgents immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
Militants step up attacks
The suicide bombing comes as the Taliban stepped up its offensive against government and foreign fighters in Afghanistan. Taliban forces overtook the northern city of Kunduz in late September, in what was seen as a signficant blow to Western-trained soldiers fighting under President Ashraf Ghani. While government forces have since recaptured most of the strategically important city, the Taliban has since gained territory in the neighboring provinces of Takhar, Baghlan and Badakhshan.
Though most NATO forces have pulled out of Afghanistan, some foreign military personnel have stayed behind to help train and equip soldiers under the internationally backed President Ghani.
NATO is also dealing with the fallout of an incident in Kunduz in which a US-led bombing campaign destroyed a hospital run by the group Doctors Without Borders. More than 20 staff members and patients were killed in the attack.
blc/ (AFP, Reuters, dpa)