Powerful blasts rock Kabul; Afghan Defense Minister's house targeted
The Afghan capital of Kabul has been rocked by coordinated strikes targeting the country’s defense minister and several lawmakers, leaving a number of civilian casualties amid an upturn in violence between the Taliban militant group and government forces.
An explosives-laden car was detonated near the residence of acting Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi in downtown Kabul on Tuesday evening.
The car bomb attack left three civilians and as many assailants dead. At least seven other people were wounded in the attack, according to an Afghan health ministry spokesperson.
According to Press TV, speaking to Afghanistan's TOLO news agency, a defense ministry spokesman said that Mohammadi is fine as he was not at his residence when the blast occurred.
The acting defense minister said the massive explosion in Kabul was a "terrorist attack" aimed at him, and vowed that such incidents cannot shake the will of Afghan security forces and their determination to defend the country.
Some Afghan lawmakers’ houses were also located in the area where the blast happened.
Less than two hours after the car bomb detonated, another loud blast followed by rapid gunfire and hand grenade shook Kabul, in what appeared to be the same area of the city.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attacks but they came during an escalation in violence by the Taliban over the past month.
Heavy clashes are reported underway between Afghan government forces and the Taliban in the city of Lashkargah in Helmand and in the city of Heart, in southern and western Afghanistan, respectively.