An explosion has rocked the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least four people and wounding scores of others, the country’s health ministry has said.
The 93 people injured in the blast on Monday in eastern Kabul included 24 children, Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry spokesperson Wahidullah Mayar said in a Tweet.
93 people were wounded–including 24 children and 24 women, in today’s explosion in district 9th, Kabul city. https://t.co/JPeUxdjjwi
— Wahidullah Mayar (@WahidullahMayar) January 14, 2019
The explosion took place when a bomb-laden car blew up outside a high-security compound that is home to several international companies and charities, security officials told the Reuters news agency.
“Most of the victims were civilians,” said Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
“The area is cordoned off … and search operation under way for suspects and attackers,” he said.
Local Afghan news website Tolo News posted footage on Twitter which appeared to show ambulances returning from the scene of the explosion.
Footage shows ambulances returning from a blast scene in Kabul’s PD9 — near Green Village compound on Kabul-Jalalabad road. pic.twitter.com/e4KZx3jH3Z
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) January 14, 2019
Monday’s attack took place as US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad tours the region for meetings aimed at bringing an end to the country’s 17–year–long war.
Last week, Taliban leaders called off a fourth round of talks with US officials in Qatar due to disagreements over the agenda of the meeting.
The Taliban has rejected numerous requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the peace talks, denouncing the government in Kabul as a “puppet” administration and instead insisting that the US is their main adversary in the war in Afghanistan.
A US-led invasion in 2001 toppled the Taliban, Afghanistan‘s largest armed group, from power.
The group has escalated its attacks on security forces and government facilities in recent months.
The last major attack in the capital took place in late December, when 43 people were killed inside a government compound targeted by a suicide bomber and other attackers armed with assault rifles. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.