KABUL: A Taliban suicide bomber struck a government bus in Kabul Monday, killing one civilian and wounding 15 others, officials said, as insurgent representatives hold talks with an Afghan delegation aimed at ending the country’s 13-year war.
The bus was carrying employees of the attorney general’s office to work in downtown Kabul when the attacker detonated his suicide vest, as the militants press on with their annual spring offensive.
The Afghan interior ministry “strongly condemned” the attack, confirming that one civilian was killed and 15 others were wounded.
“These attacks… demonstrate [an] extreme level of atrocity by terrorists against innocent and defenseless civilians,” the ministry said in a statement.
The explosion blew out the windows of houses and shops nearby, Ahmad Reshad, a government employee who was near the blast site, told AFP.
The attack comes after a 20-member Afghan delegation on Sunday launched two-days of “open discussion” with Taliban representatives in the Gulf emirate of Qatar – in their latest effort to end Afghanistan’s long war.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on their Twitter account, claiming that 40 people were killed or wounded.
The Taliban are known to exaggerate death tolls in their public statements.
Scores of shuttle buses take government and military personnel to work every morning in the capital, and they have often been targeted by insurgents despite efforts by security forces to provide better protection.