Car bomb kills 3 civilians in Kabul

By Susan McFarland  |  March 17, 2018 at 9:02 PM
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March 17 (UPI) -- A suicide car bomber killed at least three people and wounded two on Saturday in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Najib Danesh, said the attack was intended for a foreign contractor but all the killed and wounded were civilians.

The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for detonating explosives in the Saturday morning attack, which happened during rush hour near a compound for security contractors.

The attack comes days after Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said that country's security would be "the main effort" for international powers helping Afghan defense and security forces.

At least 200 people in Kabul have been killed since the beginning of the year in a series of attacks by jihadist groups.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a surprise visit to Afghanistan's capital Tuesday with an interest in pursuing peace talks with the Afghan government.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani recently invited the Taliban to discuss a political settlement. In a proposed trade-off for peace, Ghani offered the Taliban a chance to be recognized as a legitimate political party and withdraw their names from international sanctions lists.

The Taliban has not given an official response about Ghani's invitation to talks but the group invited U.S. officials to its political office in Qatar to discuss a "peaceful solution" to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan.

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