KABUL — At least 24 people were killed in Monday’s bombing near the residence of Mohammad Mohaqiq, the deputy to Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, on the western side of Kabul, officials said.
Forty-two civilians were injured in the blast that took place in Kabul’s Police District Three, Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said on his Facebook page.
Three vehicles and 15 shops were destroyed in the bombing, he said.
Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the bombing. A statement from Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for Taliban, sent through the messaging app Telegram, said the bombing targeted two buses belonging to the Afghan National Directorate of Security – the country’s spy agency – and claimed to have killed 37 personnel.
Abdul Wahab Azizi, Mohaqiq’s chief of staff, had earlier told dpa that 21 people were killed in the bombing.
The number of injured was unknown, Azizi had said, but a mini-bus carrying passengers was totally destroyed in the blast.
Mohaqiq, who at the time of the bombing was at his residence, was not harmed, Azizi said.
Kabul ambulances so far have transported nine dead and 12 wounded to hospitals across town, an Afghan Public Health Ministry spokesman said.
Pictures on social media showed a black plume rising to the sky with several buildings heavily damaged, including a private university nearby.
No group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack took place on the anniversary of an Islamic State bombing of a protest that killed more than 80 people and wounded 230 others last year in Kabul.
It was the 10th largest attack in Kabul this year.
A U.N. mid-year report published July 17 said the Afghan capital accounts for the highest number of civilian casualties in the country, at 19 percent.
“Of the 1,048 civilian casualties (219 deaths and 829 injured) documented in Kabul province, 94 per cent resulted from suicide and complex attacks carried out by Anti-Government Elements in Kabul city,” the report said.