Women, children killed as car bomb targets Afghan lawmaker in Kabul

A car bomb attack has claimed the lives of at least nine Afghan people and injured many others in Kabul, in the latest of a series of deadly attacks to rock the Afghan capital.

Afghan authorities said the blast took place in the west of Kabul early on Sunday, which led to the death of at least nine civilians, including women and children, with more than 20 others injured.

Television footage showed at least two cars on fire, with plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky.

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian blamed “terrorists” for the attack in a statement and said the explosion had also targeted the vehicle of Khan Mohammad Wardak, a member of parliament from Kabul.

The lawmaker has reportedly survived the attack and is among those injured.

“The terrorists today carried out a terror attack in PD5 of Kabul city. Children, women and elderly people are among those wounded. Homes around the area have been severely damaged. Unfortunately, eight of our compatriots were martyred and 15 more wounded, including Khan Mohammad Wardak, a member of parliament. These numbers might change,” Arian said in the statement. 

Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi later confirmed the spokesman’s report, saying nine people had lost their lives and 20 more had been wounded in the explosion in Kabul.

It is unclear whether the explosive was planted in a car parked on the lawmaker’s route or if a vehicle with the bomb was being driven by a bomber, Andarabi added.

Separate bombings were also reported on Sunday in the provinces of Logar, Nangarhar, Helmand and Badakhshan, in which a number of civilians and security forces were killed and injured.

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The Daesh terrorist group, which has claimed responsibility for some of the recent attacks in Kabul, killed dozens of people, mostly students, in an attack on two education centers in the capital last month.

The group also fired on Saturday five rockets at Bagram Airfield, a major US airbase north of Kabul, but there were no casualties.

Afghanistan has recently witnessed a wave of deadly attacks, despite the ongoing peace talks between the Taliban militant group and the government.

On Friday, an explosion hit a religious gathering in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, leaving at least 15 children dead and 20 others injured. There was no claim of responsibility, but a provincial police spokesman described the Ghazni blast as a Taliban attack.

The Afghan Interior Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban had killed 487 civilians and injured 1,049 others by carrying out 35 bombing attacks and 507 blasts across the country over the past three months.

The latest violence comes as the Taliban and the Afghan government, the two sides involved in the Afghan peace process, are taking a break until January 5, after reaching a preliminary agreement this month.

The preliminary deal is the first written agreement between the two warring sides since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The intra-Afghan negotiations had been set to take place in March, but were repeatedly delayed over a prisoner exchange made as part of a deal between the Taliban and the United States.

Under that deal, signed in February, the Taliban agreed to halt their attacks on international forces in return for the US military’s phased withdrawal from Afghanistan and the prisoner exchange with Kabul.

Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.

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