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Powerful blast rocks Kabul

July 1, 2019

The blast rattled windows in the Afghan capital and smoke was seen billowing over the city. At least 65 people were injured in the explosion, which took place during rush hour.

Smoke rises following an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/R. Gul

A powerful blast from a car bomb rocked Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Monday, shaking offices and sending a plume of black smoke up in the air.

The explosion wounded at least 65 people, including nine children, health officials said.

"All the wounded patients have been receiving the required treatment," Afghan Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that a bomb-laden vehicle detonated in an eastern neighborhood in Kabul. Shortly afterwards, several gunmen entered a building and began firing.

A government security official told Reuters news agency that the blast took place near the Defense Ministry's engineering and logistics department.

Taliban militants later claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying they were targeting "the defense ministry's technical installation."

Both the militant "Islamic State" (IS) and the Taliban are active in Kabul.

Kabul has been relatively quiet in recent months following a spate of deadly blasts, many of which were claimed by IS.

The explosion comes just days after the United States and the Taliban re-opened peace talks in Qatar.

rs/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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