An explosion rattled the Afghan capital Kabul early Tuesday, a security official said, with casualties feared in what appeared to be the first major attack in the city in months.
“The explosion was a suicide attack with civilian casualties,” said the ministry of interior’s deputy spokeswoman Marwa Amini. A witness near the scene in western Kabul confirmed the explosion.
“It was a big explosion that rocked our house. We also heard gunfire afterwards. Ambulances rushed to the area quickly,” resident Samiullah, who goes by one name, told AFP.
The blast upends months of relative calm in the capital with speculation rife that the Taliban have refrained from attacking major urban centers in an effort to keep talks with the US on track.
The last major attack in the capital was in November when at least 12 people were killed when a minivan packed with explosives rammed into a vehicle carrying foreigners during Kabul’s morning rush hour.
Four foreign nationals were among those wounded in the attack that targeted an SUV belonging to a private Canadian security company, GardaWorld – in a crowded neighborhood near the interior ministry and north of Kabul airport.