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Dozens Killed in Kabul Car Bombing Claimed by Taliban | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A file photo of a NATO soldier walks at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Reuters File Photo)

At least 35 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded after a Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb, targeting government employees in western Kabul Monday, an official said, the latest attack to strike the Afghan capital.

“The car bomb hit a bus carrying employees of the ministry of mines during rush hour,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told Agence France Presse.

Police cordoned off the area, located near the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet claiming responsibility for the attack the target had been two buses that had been under surveillance for two months.

Kabul is regularly rocked by suicide bombs and attacks. A recent UN report showed they accounted for nearly one-fifth of all civilian Afghan casualties in the first half of 2017.

A small bus owned by the Ministry of Mines had been destroyed, government security sources said.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has been documenting civilian casualties since 2009, said in its recent report that 1,662 civilians were killed and more than 3,500 injured in the first six months of the year. 

Many of those deaths happened in a devastating single attack in Kabul in late May when a truck bomb exploded, also during the morning rush hour, killing more than 150 people and injuring hundreds.

UNAMA put the civilian death toll at 92, saying it was the deadliest incident to hit the country since 2001.

The bloody toll for the first six months of 2017 has unsettled the government of President Ashraf Ghani, who has come under increasing pressure since the May attack in Kabul.

Protests and deadly street clashes hit the Afghan capital in the wake of the May attack as people incensed by security failures called for his government’s resignation.