34 Killed and 68 Injured in Explosion in Downtown Kabul
At least 34 people were killed and at least 68 were injured in an explosion that shook the center of the Afghan capital Kabul this morning, Xinhua and TASS reported.
The blast echoed at 8.55 pm local time (4:25 GMT) in Puli Mahmood Khan, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told reporters. A police official, Mohammad Karim, said that a car bomb exploded outside a Defense Ministry building, before militants then ran into a nearby building and began firing down on the ministry.
Police and special Afghan security forces cordoned off the area.
The Afghan football and cricket federations and military buildings are also located in the area, French press reports.
The Associated Press recalls that the US Embassy is close enough. The TASS recalls that the Afghan Ministry of Defense is located in the blast area.
The explosion was caused by a car bomb, the Associated Press and DPA reported, citing police and health officials. The car exploded in front of the Ministry of Defense building.
Both the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group operate in Kabul, which has been relatively quiet in recent months following a spate of violent explosions, many claimed by the IS affiliate that operates in Afghanistan.
The explosion takes place at a time when a new round of talks between Taliban representatives and US officials are taking place in the Qatari capital of Doha. They started on Saturday.
So far no one has taken responsibility for the attack.