A Taliban suicide blast in the centre of Kabul has killed 10 people and wounded more than 40. The blast destroyed cars and shops in an area near the headquarters of Afghanistan’s NATO forces and the U.S. embassy.
The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack. The insurgents and U.S. officials have been negotiating a deal on a U.S. troop withdrawal in exchange for Taliban security guarantees. Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Kabul confirmed that over 10 civilians were killed while the 42 injured persons have been taken to hospitals. Witnesses said the suicide bomber blew himself up as hundreds of people were standing and some crossing the road. Besmellah Ahmadi said he suffered minor wounds in the blast and sought shelter in a shop. “My car windows were shattered. People rushed to get me out of the car.’’ On Monday, a Taliban suicide truck bomber attacked a compound used by international organisations in Kabul, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 100. The U.S. top negotiator for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad said this week that the two sides had drawn up a draft framework agreement under which U.S. troops would leave five military bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of the signing of the pact. There are some 14,000 U.S. troops deployed to various bases across Afghanistan. Khalilzad is expected to meet Afghan and NATO officials to explain the draft agreement, which must still be approved by U.S. President Donald Trump before it can be signed. Khalilzad, a veteran Afghan-American diplomat, has shared details of the draft with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and sought his opinion before firming up an agreement that could bring an end to America’s longest military intervention overseas. But Ghani’s government is seeking clarification from the U.S. on the draft agreement. (Reuters/NAN)