Kabul hit by powerful explosion, gunfire, at least three dead – .

Kabul hit by powerful explosion, gunfire, at least three dead – .

A general view of the Green Zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 13, 2019. REUTERS / Omar Sobhani

KABUL, Aug.3 (Reuters) – A powerful explosion followed by sporadic gunfire hit Kabul, the Afghan capital, near the city’s heavily fortified “green zone” on Tuesday, an area housing government buildings and foreign embassies, police officials said.

At least three people were killed and seven injured, said Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, spokesman for the health ministry, adding that the clashes continued.

A senior security official said the explosion appeared to have been caused by a car bomb and the apparent target was the residence of a member of parliament.

Two armed men were still in the area and clashed with Afghan security forces, the official said. Several homes owned by Afghan officials, lawmakers and prominent residents were under siege in the ongoing clashes, residents said.

The city’s emergency hospital said in a tweet that it had so far received six people injured in the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Within minutes of the explosion, hundreds of civilians in Kabul took to the streets and chanted Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest) to express their support for the Afghan government forces and their opposition to the Taliban.

The night march spread through the city with mostly men and women joining the protests, carrying candles and Afghan flags to signal united opposition to the outright Islamist group.

“The whole world can choose to remain silent about what is happening in Afghanistan, but we can no longer and will not remain silent … we will stand by our security forces until our last breath,” said one protester. . in Kabul on condition of anonymity.

Last week, residents of western Herat braved the streets despite fighting nearby to protest the Taliban. Other towns quickly organized to join in the chanting from their homes at night, as a message of support for the besieged security forces.

Clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban escalated across the country, with the insurgent group taking control of checkpoints, trading posts and infrastructure projects.

Afghan forces have called on residents of the southern city of Lashkargah to leave their homes and stay away from areas where the Taliban are taking control, as they intend to launch operations against the group.

The Taliban said their fighters in Kabul killed a district governor in central Maidan Wardak province on Tuesday, the latest in a series of killings by the insurgent group aimed at eliminating senior government officials and social activists .

Reporting from the Kabul office, editing by Nick Tattersall, William Maclean

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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