Kabul car bomb targets foreign forces, kills child

An injured horse lying in a street while Afghan security personnel inspect the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul yesterday.
An injured horse lying in a street while Afghan security personnel inspect the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

KABUL • A suicide car bomb targeting a foreign forces convoy rocked eastern Kabul yesterday, killing at least one civilian and injuring 14 others just days after Afghanistan unveiled plans for Taleban peace talks, the Interior Ministry said.

Extensive damage to the facades of nearby houses could be seen with debris scattered on pavements. Witnesses reported a strong explosion. Security forces rushed to the scene as passers-by helped move the wounded, but witnesses complained that ambulances took around half an hour to arrive.

"Unfortunately around 9am, a car bombing took place in Qabil Bay area of Kabul. The target of the attack was a foreign forces convoy," ministry spokesman Najib Danish said, adding that the police are investigating the incident.

One person was killed and 14 bystanders wounded, he added, with all the casualties civilians. According to a security source and witnesses, the dead victim was a child.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombing comes just two days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan for peace talks with the Taleban, including a proposal to eventually recognise them as a political party.

Mr Ghani revealed his plans in a speech during international peace talks in Kabul this week that went better than expected, with officials in Washington daring to hold out hope that the longest war in US history may be heading to a negotiated settlement.

Despite the optimism, Kabul remains on high alert, fearing further violence. American officials are also ready for more fighting in the spring. Since mid-January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street, raided a military compound and launched a suicide attack during morning rush hour in the capital, killing more than 130 people.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2018, with the headline 'Kabul car bomb targets foreign forces, kills child'. Print Edition | Subscribe