4 killed, 11 wounded in roadside bomb attack in Afghan capital

A security officer is standing near the bus that was hit by a roadside bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

At least four people have been killed and nearly a dozen wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in the Afghan capital of Kabul, officials say.

The explosion was touched off as a bus carrying government employees hit the bomb in Sar-e-Kotal area in Kabul's District 17 at around 7:20 a.m. local time on Thursday, TOLO news agency reported, citing police officials.

The bus was rented by the Afghan Ministry of Information and Technology to transport employees, according to Abdul Samad Hamid Poya, a ministry adviser.

The wounded, as many as 11 people, were rushed to a nearby hospital.

No group has yet claimed the responsibility, but the Afghan government has blamed Taliban militants for recent attacks against government employees, civil society figures, and journalists.

The bomb attack came on the same day that representatives of the Afghan government, the Taliban, and several countries, including the US and Russia, convened in Moscow to seek ways to decrease the violence in the Asian country and propel the Afghan peace process forward.

Early this week, a bomb blast in downtown Kabul that targeted a bus carrying employees of two government ministries led to the killing of five civilians, including four women and a child.

Officials said on Monday that at least 13 others, all civilians, were also wounded in the attack.

During the last 18 days, 144 people have been killed and 214 others wounded in different security incidents across the country, figures by TOLO news agency show.

Nine killed in military chopper crash: Ministry

Separately, the Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement that at least nine service members had been killed in a helicopter crash late on Wednesday.

It said the Mi-17 helicopter, which belonged to the Afghan army, crash-landed in Behsud district in the southern province of Maidan Wardak, killing all on board, including crew members as well as Afghan Special Forces. The ministry added that the incident was under investigation.

Reuters, citing two unnamed sources, reported that the helicopter had been hit by a rocket during takeoff. It was, however, not clear who had fired the rocket.

Meanwhile, the administration of US President Joe Biden has been reviewing an agreement signed by the former US admistration with the Taliban.

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