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Car bomb explodes near Australian Embassy convoy in Kabul

15 Apr 2018 Daily Mail Online

A car bomb has exploded near Australian Embassy vehicles travelling in Kabul, killing an Afghan child.No Australians were injured in the attack, the Department of Foreign Affairs said, but the Afghanistan interior ministry said 22 people were hurt in the blast.'The Australian government extends its sympathies to families and friends of people killed and injured by this attack,' Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in the statement on Friday.

A car bomb has exploded near Australian Embassy vehicles travelling in Kabul, killing an Afghan civilian (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

Extensive damage to the facades of nearby houses could be seen with debris scattered on pavements as witnesses reported a strong explosion (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

Security forces rushed to the scene as passers-by helped move the wounded, with witnesses complaining to AFP that ambulances took around half an hour to arrive (pictured is the scene of the explosion)'The attack again highlights the threat posed by terrorist and insurgent groups to the people of Afghanistan.' Extensive damage to the facades of nearby houses could be seen with debris scattered on pavements as witnesses reported a strong explosion.

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Security forces rushed to the scene as passers-by helped move the wounded, with witnesses complaining to AFP that ambulances took around half an hour to arrive.A horse was also badly injured in the blast and could be seen stumbling in the street - its head, belly and legs burnt - before it was finally taken pity on and killed on the spot with a knife, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

A horse was also badly injured in the blast and could be seen stumbling in the street (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

'I can confirm a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device [VBIED] was detonated this morning in Police District Nine in Kabul City,' said Captain Tom Gresback (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

No Australians were injured in the attack, the Department of Foreign Affairs said (pictured is the scene of the explosion)There was some confusion over the target of the bomb. Earlier, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the 'suicide' blast had targeted 'a foreign forces convoy' when it went off around 9:00 am in the Qabil Bay area of Kabul.However a NATO spokesman denied any foreign troops had been injured, while the Australian embassy said the blast had come as one of its convoys was passing by.'I can confirm a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device [VBIED] was detonated this morning in Police District Nine in Kabul City,' Captain Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO's Resolute Support mission in Kabul told AFP.

The Australian embassy said on its website that the blast was 'near Australian Embassy vehicles while they were travelling in Kabul' (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

No group has claimed the attack, which is the latest to hit Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians (pictured is the scene of the explosion)'One civilian was killed, and eleven civilians were wounded as a result of the attack. No Resolute Support service members were injured in the incident,' he said, condemning the attack and adding that NATO 'fully endorses' a call this week by President Ashraf Ghani for the Taliban to join peace talks.The Australian embassy said on its website that the blast was 'near Australian Embassy vehicles while they were travelling in Kabul', and a security source confirmed the embassy's account to AFP.No group has claimed the attack, which is the latest to hit Kabul, one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians as both the Taliban and the expanding Islamic State group step up their assaults on the city.

The interior ministry, which gave a higher figure of 22 wounded, said the one fatality had been a 12-year-old boy (pictured is the scene of the explosion)

The bombing comes just two days after Afghan president Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan for peace talks with the Taliban (pictured is the scene of the explosion)The interior ministry, which gave a higher figure of 22 wounded, said the one fatality had been a 12-year-old boy.The bombing comes just two days after Afghan president Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan for peace talks with the Taliban, including a proposal to eventually recognise them as a political party.Ghani revealed his plans in a speech during international peace talks in Kabul this week that went better than expected, with officials in Washington daring to hold out hope that the longest war in US history may be heading to a negotiated settlement.

More than 16,000 foreign troops are deployed in Afghanistan under the NATO mandate (pictured is the scene of the explosion)US ambassador in Kabul John R. Bass hailed Ghani's 'very courageous stand' and his 'commitment to pursue a peaceful settlement through talks' after more than 16 years of conflict, as officials said the onus was now on the Taliban to respond.Before Ghani's speech, the militants had called for direct talks with the US. They have not yet offered a full response to the president's proposal, but the apparent openness to negotiations on both sides has sparked cautious optimism.More than 16,000 foreign troops are deployed in Afghanistan under the NATO mandate, mostly Americans who supervise Afghan forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations. 

Since November, the US military has increased air strikes against Taliban positions, training camps and heroin laboratories (pictured is the scene of the explosion)Since November, the US military has increased air strikes against Taliban positions, training camps and heroin laboratories, which are an important source of revenue for the group.Despite the optimism, Kabul remains on high alert, fearing further violence. American officials are also braced for more fighting in the spring.Since mid-January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street, raided a military compound and launched a suicide attack during morning rush hour in the capital, killing more than 130 people.

Close-up map of Kabul locating suicide car bomb Friday   

Original Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5454405/Car-bomb-explodes-near-Australian-Embassy-convoy-Kabul.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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