Apparent attack ongoing in central Kabul - GulfToday

Video: Apparent attack ongoing in central Kabul

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Security forces stand in front of posters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. Reuters

A massive explosion followed by the sound of small-arms fire rocked central Kabul late on Monday in an apparent attack near an area that is home to several international groups.

According to interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi, the blast occurred near Green Village, a large compound that houses aid agencies and international organisations.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Green Village is separate from the nearby Green Zone, a walled-off and heavily fortified part of Kabul that is home to several embassies including the US and British facilities.

Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramerz said the explosion appeared to have been a car bomb, though some unconfirmed reports said it was a larger truck bomb.

"Police have been deployed to the site and we are awaiting more information," Faramerz told reporters.

The blast came as an interview with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was being broadcast in which he discussed a potential deal with the Taliban.

Even as negotiations for the accord have entered what is widely considered to be the final stages, violence has continued apace across Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Taliban attempted to seize Kunduz in the north, and on Sunday, they launched an operation in the city of Pul-e Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province.

Agence France-Presse