Kabul Struck by Huge Explosion, and Taliban Claim Responsibility
A huge explosion struck central Kabul on Tuesday morning, followed by gunfire. While the number of deaths was not immediately clear, at least 161 people were wounded, Afghan health officials said. The area is crowded, and ambulance sirens could be heard near the scene, New York Times reports.
Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said a car bomb had been detonated outside the offices of an elite security force that provides protection to senior government officials. The explosion rattled windows in much of the city.
Other police officials said that militants had entered the compound after the explosion and that Afghan security units had arrived in response.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, issued a statement that claimed responsibility for the attack. The statement said that “a truck full of explosives” had been detonated before fighters entered the compound.
Security forces in Kabul, the Afghan capital, have been on high alert since the Taliban announced their annual spring offensive last week, amid reports that suicide bombers had entered the city and were planning attacks.