The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul that left at least 29 people dead, as the Islamist fundamentalist group ratchets up an offensive across Afghanistan.
The blast happened at around 6:40 a.m. Monday (10:10 p.m. ET Sunday) when a Toyota Corolla exploded in the city’s west, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told CNN.
It is the latest in a string of attacks in recent days by the Taliban, which said it had captured two districts in northern and central Afghanistan at the weekend.
In a statement released by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, the group said the Kabul bomb’s target was a bus carrying Afghan intelligence staff, but Danish said that all the victims were civilians, including some employees of the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum. Women and children were among the dozens injured, Danish said.
Saleem Rasooli, head of Kabul hospitals, put the death toll at 29 and said at least 40 others were injured in the blast.
A witness told CNN he saw injured people in the streets and others yelling in the bombing’s aftermath.
“In the morning I was sleeping when I heard a loud boom, which woke me up,” said 33-year-old Safiullah, who gave only his first name.
He looked out of a window in his home and saw plumes of smoke rising from the site as people ran in a panic.
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SOURCE: CNN, Ehsan Popalzai, Euan McKirdy and Angela Dewan