Blast targets UN vehicle in Afghanistan killing one foreigner

Blast targets UN vehicle in Afghanistan killing one foreigner

Grenade attack in the capital, Kabul, also wounds five others leaving the vehicle heavily damaged.

The blast occurred during what has been a period of relative calm in Kabul after a series of major attacks [File: Musadeq Sadeq/AP]
The blast occurred during what has been a period of relative calm in Kabul after a series of major attacks [File: Musadeq Sadeq/AP]

A foreign national was killed in a grenade attack targeting a United Nations vehicle in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Sunday.

The attack happened on a road frequently used by the UN shuttling workers between central Kabul and a large UN compound on its outskirts.

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"At around 6:20pm [13:50 GMT] a grenade was hurled at a UN vehicle," interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

Five other people – including two Afghan staff – were wounded in the attack, Rahimi said. The nationalities of the other victims were not released.

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The blast targeted the vehicle on one of the busiest roads in the city, in police district 9, according to Rahimi.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The explosion comes during what has been a period of relative and uneasy calm in Kabul, where large-scale attacks have dropped in recent weeks.

The lull followed a blood-stained presidential campaign season that ended with a general election nearly two months ago.

But Afghans are still waiting for the results of the September 28 polls, with a recount bogged down by various technical difficulties and complaints from the main candidates.

Elsewhere in central Daykundi province, at least eight soldiers were killed when Taliban fighters stormed their checkpoint, provincial Governor Anwar Rahmati said.

Four other troops were wounded in the hours-long gun battle, he said.

Rahmati said reinforcements were dispatched early on Sunday to the area in Kajran district, driving off the fighters while killing at least 20 attackers.

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Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the checkpoint attack. He disputed the Taliban casualty figures provided by the governor and said the fighters seized weapons and ammunition.

Afghans are waiting to see what might happen next in negotiations between the Taliban and the United States.

President Donald Trump in September ended those year-long talks as Taliban violence continued, but on Friday he suggested to US broadcaster Fox News that negotiations could be getting under way again.

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