UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — At least 10 people were killed in a car bomb attack in Kabul on Thursday, including two members of the NATO force, in a fresh attack on the Afghan capital as the United States and the Taliban held talks to reach an agreement allowing the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
The blast took place in the heavily fortified neighborhood of Shash Darak, adjacent to the Green Zone, where several important compounds are located, including the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service. Scenes from surveillance cameras apparently showing the attack, which occurred at around 10:10 am local time, showed a gray minibus, after overtaking several white SUVs waiting to turn right onto a street.
A bystander could be seen turning around trying to get away as the bus hit a barrier before it exploded. The US-led NATO force in Afghanistan said two US and Romanian soldiers were killed in the blast. The Romanian Defense Ministry said the Romanian soldier was conducting a joint patrol near the Green Zone. The deaths bring to 16 the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year as Washington tries to find ways out of its longest war.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said at least 10 civilians were killed and 42 wounded. The Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, on Twitter claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a “martyrdom” detonated the car bomb. He said 12 foreign invaders had been killed. Masoud Zazai, who owns a photographic studio off the scene, said he was in his place when the attack took place. “I fell from my chair and the shop was filled with smoke and dust,” he told the agency. “I came out moments after the attack and saw the rubble and bodies on the side of the road.”
Amid the smoke, he could hear the crying of the wounded, who were screaming from their mothers and sisters. “I saw five people with very serious wounds, one of whom was bloody and was not moving. It was a horrible sight,” he said. The target is close to the site of the ISIS bombing, which killed nine journalists, including AFP chief photographer Shah Marai, in April.
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