Bomb kills dozens
Taliban suicide attack in Kabul targets Shiite area
KABUL — A Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul on Monday, killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 40, and the death toll could rise, a senior government official said.
Police cordoned off the area, located near the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq in a part of the city where many of the mainly Shiite Hazara community live.
The Taliban, which is battling the Western-backed government and a NATO-led coalition for control of Afghanistan, has launched a wave of attacks around the country in recent days, sparking fighting in more than half a dozen provinces.
“I was in my shop when suddenly I heard a terrible sound and as a result all of my shop windows shattered,” said Ali Ahmed, a resident in the area of the blast.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the group.
Mujahid said the target of the attack had been two buses that had been under surveillance for two months.
Government security forces said a small bus owned by the Ministry of Mines had been destroyed in the blast.
Three civilian vehicles and 15 shops were destroyed or damaged in the blast.
At least 1,662 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the first half of the year.
Kabul has accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year, including at least 150 people killed in a massive truck bomb attack at the end of May, according to United Nations figures.
On Sunday, dozens of Afghan troops were under siege after Taliban fighters overran a district in northern Faryab province, a spokesman for the provincial police said.
There was also fighting in Baghlan, Badakhshan, and Kunduz provinces in Afghanistan’s north, and Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan in the south, according to officials.
The resurgence of violence also coincides with the US administration weighing up its strategic options for Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops to bolster the training and advisory mission already helping Afghan forces.
Investigators work at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Monday.