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Over a dozen killed in latest Taliban blast in Kabul

Kabul has been hit by a series of bomb blasts this week [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2019

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Afghanistan is reeling from three blasts in three days.
A major deadly explosion targeted a residential area in the Afghan capital on Monday, as talks between the US and Taliban continue.

At least 16 people were killed in the blast that targeted an area of Kabul close to where aid agencies operate.

Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said  by a tractor packed with explosives was detonated alongside a wall by Green Village, a large compound that houses aid agencies and international organisations.

At least 119 people were also wounded in the attack, Rahimi said, with search-and-rescue operations continuing through the night.

The blast happened as US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visited the Afghan capital to discuss a proposed deal, which would see the US withdraw troops in return for Taliban security guarantees.

The Kabul blast was the third major Taliban attack in as many days.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujadid said a coordinated attack with a suicide bomber and gunmen was under way.

Khalilzad, who has spent about a year negotiating with the Taliban, told Tolo the draw-down from US bases would occur within about four months of a final deal being approved - provided the Taliban stick to their commitments.

"We have agreed that if the conditions proceed according to the agreement, we will leave within 135 days five bases in which we are present now," the Afghan-born US envoy said in Dari.

But even as negotiations for an accord between the US and the Taliban have entered what is widely considered to be the final stages, violence has surged across Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Taliban attempted to seize Kunduz in the north, and on Sunday, they launched an operation in the city of Pul-e Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province.

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