Blast kills 12 outside Afghan Defense Ministry
At least a dozen people were killed Saturday in a bomb attack outside the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul, PressTV reports.
Personnel of the defense ministry were among the fatalities. Twenty people were also injured in the blast.
Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi confirmed the bombing, without elaborating on the number of casualties. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the cause of the blast was not clear.
However, a Taliban spokesman said the militant group claims the attack, which was meant to target Afghan military forces.
Kabul has increased the offensive against Taliban across Afghanistan recently.
The Saturday blast came hours after 11 people were killed in a similar attack in eastern Afghanistan. Reports said an attacker driving a motorcycle hit the entrance of the governor’s compound in Asadabad, the provincial capital of Kunar, near the border with Pakistan.
Provincial Governor Wahidullah Kalimzai said a militant commander, identified as Haji Khan Jan, and 10 others outside of the compound were killed. He said at least 40 others were wounded, adding that most of the victims were civilians and children who were either passing by or playing in the park.
There was no claim of responsibility for the Kunar blast, although Afghan officials regularly blame the Taliban for such incidents.
Afghanistan has seen a surge in attacks by the Taliban since the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country in 2014. Efforts have been underway for peace talks between Kabul and leaders of Taliban, a group which has been gripped by infighting since the news broke last year that its long-time leader and founder, Mullah Muhammad Omar, had died two years ago.