At least 36 persons were killed and 42 others wounded when a car packed with explosives struck a minibus carrying government employees in western Kabul in Afghanistan on Monday, officials and witnesses said.
“A terrorist driving a saloon car rammed his vehicle into a minibus carrying workers of the Ministry of Mines and Industries in Gola-e-Dawakhana locality, Police District 3, roughly at 6.50 a.m, causing the causalities,” witness Abdul Jalil told Pajhwok news agency.
The bombing happened near the house of Deputy Government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq. Three vehicles and 15 shops were damaged in the attack, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
According to Pajhwok, which cited a Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, white Corolla car was parked near Mohaqiq’s house in the neighbourhood where a minibus came under attack. The victims were all civilians.
The bus caught fire, and glass panes from nearby buildings were shattered across the road as a result of the car-bomb explosion, which shook the area dominate dby Hazaras, a sub-sect of the Shias.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the responsibility for the attack in a Twitter post, saying 37 “intelligence workers” had been killed. The Taliban often exaggerate the scale of attacks against Afghan government and foreign targets.
The Taliban, which is battling the Western-backed government and a NATO-led coalition for control of Afghanistan, has launched a wave of attacks around the country in recent days, sparking fighting in more than half a dozen provinces.
The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since late April when the militant group launched its annual offensive in different places of the country, which has claimed hundreds of lives, including militants, security personnel and civilians.
More than 1,660 civilians were killed and over 3,580 others injured in conflict-related incidents across Afghanistan in the first half of the year, according to a report released by the United Nations mission office in the country.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the terrorist attack on a civilian bus in Kabul, calling it “appalling and a cowardly attack”.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah also “condemned the terrorist attack on civil servants in Kabul” added “our security institutions will hold perpetrators accountable”.