An Afghan National Army soldier stands near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday. Mohammad Ismail/ Reuters
Three bombs rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday, with one hitting a bus carrying government employees, killing a total of at least 12 people, officials said.
Five employees of the ministry of mines and petroleum were killed and 10 wounded in the bus attack, the officials said, adding that seven people were killed and more than 20 wounded in the second explosion.
“First a magnetic bomb pasted to a minibus exploded, then a suicide bomber blew himself near the bus attack site and the third blast happened when a car was blown up by unknown militants,” said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman of the interior ministry in Kabul.
“The death toll could rise from all the three blasts,” he said.
No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attacks that came as US Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was meeting top US and NATO officials in Kabul.
The United States is trying to negotiate a deal that would see foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan in return for various security guarantees by Taliban militants, including a pledge that the country will not become a safe haven for terror groups.
Afghan security experts said the insurgents were increasing attacks to gain greater leverage in the peace talks.
The eighth round of talks is expected to begin this month in Qatar.
Afghan security forces are facing almost daily attacks by Taliban militants, despite reported progress in efforts by the United States to broker an end to Afghanistan's nearly 18-year war.
The rush-hour explosion sent a plume of smoke into the air above the Puli Mahmood Khan neighbourhood of the Afghan capital and shook buildings up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) away, with the media reporter saying he could hear gunshots after the blast.
A car bomb apparently targeted at a convoy of vehicles belonging to an international organization exploded in Kabul on Friday, killing or wounding at least seven people, officials said, the second attack in the Afghan capital in two days.
The young man was rushed to hospital after sustaining moderate injuries.
Habib Al Sayegh was the Secretary-General of the General Union of Arab Writers and Editor-in-Chief of Arabic language daily Al-Khaleej.
In a step to reduce consumption of unhealthy goods and modify consumers’ behaviour, the UAE Cabinet adopted a decision to expand the list of excise taxable products to include sweetened beverages, sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices, starting Jan.1, 2020.