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Suicide blast in Afghan capital targets NATO vehicles

May 3, 2017

A suicide car bombing targeting foreign forces in Kabul has killed at least eight people and wounded more than 25 others. The self-styled "Islamic State" group has claimed responsibility.

Afghanistan Anschlag auf Nato-Konvoi in Kabul
Image: picture-alliance/AP/dpa/M. Hossaini

Bomb blast kills eight in Kabul

Security officials said the powerful explosion hit a convoy of military vehicles belonging to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in a busy area of the Afghan capital on Wednesday.

Authorities said eight civilians were killed and at least 28 wounded, but warned that the toll could change. 

"We are checking the details," Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told the news agency AFP. "Unfortunately most of (the victims) are civilians."

US Navy Capt. Bill Salvin said three US service members were injured in the blast, which took place near the US embassy. 

The NATO armored personnel carriers targeted in the bombing are designed to withstand large explosions. Witnesses said they appeared to suffer minor external damage, while a number of civilian vehicles nearby were severely damaged.

Karte Afghanistan Kabul Deutsch Englisch

IS claims responsibility

The "Islamic State" (IS) extremist group said in a statement carried by its Aamaq media arm that it was behind the bombing. Militants associated with the group in Afghanistan have gained strength in recent years, staging attacks against the US-backed government and Taliban militants. 

Afghan forces have increasingly struggled to contain both IS and the Taliban since the US and NATO officially ended their combat mission at the end of 2014. The US currently has around 8,400 troops in the country as part of the Resolute Support training and advisory mission, with another 5,000 from NATO allies, including 941 troops from Germany.

Kabul province had the highest number of civilian casualties in the first quarter of the year due to attacks in the capital, according to a recent United Nations report. 

Bomb blast kills eight in Kabul

nm/rt (Reuters, AFP, AP)