Dozens wounded in suicide attack outside Kabul police station

Dozens wounded in suicide attack outside Kabul police station

At least 95 people have been wounded in a large explosion outside a police station in Kabul, officials said.

The blast occurred about 9am (04:30 GMT) in western Kabul, interior ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said before adding that the bomb went off when a vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint outside the station.

Health ministry spokesperson Wahidullah Mayar said at least 95 people, mostly civilians and including women and children, were taken to hospital.

The explosion sent a massive plume of smoke over the Afghanistan capital.

"I heard a big bang and all the windows broke with glass flying everywhere," shopkeeper Ahmad Saleh told the AFP news agency.

"My head is spinning and I still don't know what has happened but the windows of about 20 shops around one kilometre from the blast site are broken," he added.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to videos on social media and witnesses, small arms fire could be heard following the blast. 

The attack came a day after the Taliban called for the boycott of a presidential election scheduled to take place on September 28 and threatened to attack election rallies.

Separately, security forces stormed stormed two Islamic State hideouts in Kabul., killing two of the group's fighters and seizing a large quantity of explosives, according to the National Directorate of Security. 

Three members of the security forces were also killed, an agency spokesman was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. 

The US and the Taliban met in Doha this week for an eighth round of talks aimed at striking a peace deal that would slash the American military presence in Afghanistan.

Despite negotiations, the fighting has not subsided, as the civilian casualty rates across Afghanistan jumped back to record levels last month, according to the United Nations

According to the United Nations, more than 1,500 civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict in July alone, the highest monthly casualties so far this year and the worst single month since May 2017.

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https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/dozens-wounded-large-explosion-rocks-kabul-190807060332103.html

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