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Four killed, 90 wounded in Kabul car bomb attack

Kabul in 2013. (Masoud Akbari/Wikimedia Commons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

At least four people were killed and more than 90 were wounded when a car bomb exploded near a foreign compound in the east of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on January 14, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the blast had targeted Green Village, where some foreign NGOs and workers used to be based.

Twenty-three children are among the injured, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, said.

Until recently, some UN staff lived and worked at the compound, but Danish said the area was now largely empty and “only a number of guards” were left.

“Residential buildings nearby have sustained heavy damage,” he said. “Special police force units have been deployed to the site to check if there are more attackers.”

The latest attack comes as U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is touring the region for meetings aimed at bringing an end to the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad, who met Taliban representatives last month in Abu Dhabi, is traveling to Afghanistan as well as China, India, and Pakistan on a trip lasting through January 21.

Last month’s leaking of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to reduce troop numbers in Afghanistan, however, has threatened to derail peace efforts and alarmed many Afghans.

The Taliban controls or contests nearly half of Afghanistan, where it is waging a deadly insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government and government security forces.

Last week, Taliban leaders called off a fourth round of talks with U.S. officials in the Arab Gulf state of Qatar due to an “agenda disagreement” and refused to allow what they called “puppet” Afghan government officials to join the talks.