KABUL: More than 20 people were killed in separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including at least 14 when a suicide bomber struck a minibus carrying Nepalese security contractors in the Afghan capital, officials said.
The casualties appeared to include both Afghans and Nepalese security contractors, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said.
He said the suicide bomber had waited near the compound housing the security contractors and struck as the vehicle moved through early morning traffic.
As well as the bus passengers, several people in an adjacent market were also wounded in the attack, which occurred during Ramazan.
Not long after the first attack, a bomb planted in provincial council member Attaullah Faizani’s car exploded. Faizani along with six other people were injured in the attack.
Hours later, a bomb planted in a motorbike killed at least eight civilians and wounded another 18 in a crowded market in the northern province of Badakhshan, said provincial government spokesman Naveed Frotan.
The casualty count could rise, he said.
The attacks are the latest in a recent surge of violence that highlights the challenges faced by the Afghan government in Kabul and its Western backers as Washington slowly draws down its remaining troops despite a persistent insurgency.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter that 14 people had been killed and eight wounded in the attack in Kabul.
Police were working to identify the victims, he said. The casualties appeared to include Afghan civilians and Nepalese security contractors, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said after police and emergency vehicles surrounded the scene in the Banae district in the east of the city.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a statement from the Islamist group´s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, on Twitter.
There was no immediate indication of who carried out the attack in Badakshan.