7 killed in a car bomb blast near Russia embassy in Kabul
A huge bomb explosion hits an area near the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, killing at least seven people.
The car bomb blast which took place on Wednesday also injured more than 20 people including women and children.
Officials and sources within popular Afghan TV channel TOLO said a vehicle carrying employees of the media organization was the blast’s target.
“Our office bus taking TOLO staff home came under attack,” a staffer at the channel said, while another employee added that the car was mostly filled with behind-the-scenes workers from the channel’s graphics and dubbing departments.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadly attack that came two days after a second round of international talks was held in Kabul to lay out the ground for peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
However, last October, the Taliban threatened to attack TOLO and 1TV, privately run news and entertainment stations, after they accused the militants of committing rape in the northern city of Kunduz, which briefly fell to the militants in September.
The group denied the reports as fabrications and denounced them as examples of propaganda by the “satanic networks.”
Kabul has seen at least six explosions since the start of the New Year. A rocket struck near the Italian embassy in the capital on Sunday, leaving two security guards injured.
On Monday, representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US gathered in the city for a meeting to find a negotiated resolution to the 14-year Taliban militancy in Afghanistan.
The participants discussed a road-map that Kabul had presented in the previous meeting, held in Islamabad earlier this month, according to an Afghan official.
The Taliban have yet to agree to take part in the negotiations. They have accused the US of violating its commitment to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Afghanistan’s chief negotiator Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai said last week that the second round of the talks would focus on creating a peace plan to persuade the Taliban to give up violence. He said, “The Taliban are making gains and the army is on the defensive. Until there is a stalemate, the talks are unlikely to succeed.”
In recent months, Taliban militants have intensified their attacks on government and foreign targets in Afghanistan.