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Dozens wounded in Kabul car bomb blast

By Darryl Coote
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Dozens wounded in Kabul car bomb blast
At least 95 people were wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Photo by Jawad Jalali/EPA-EFE

Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in western Kabul on Wednesday, injuring at least 95 people.

The car bomb exploded at about 9 a.m. near a police station in the Afghan capital, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

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The Public Health Ministry confirmed that at least 95 people, including women and children, were injured in the blast that damaged a number of houses and blew out windows in the vicinity.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that the police station on one side of the street and the recruitment center on the other were the targets.

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"Martyrdom attack struck enemy recruitment center near PD6 of Kabul city 09:00 a.m. this morning," Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said in a tweet.

Later, he tweeted a 10-second video of a city block of concrete buildings allegedly made rubble in the blast.

In a statement, he said "dozens" of Afghan soldiers and police were killed or wounded in the attack that was carried out with a large car "loaded with heavy material." He said it was in response to raids by Afgan forces without specifying.

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Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive for Afghanistan, strongly condemned the attack.

"The terrorists aim to disrupt the presidential election campaign," he said via Twitter. "We are committed to the democratic process and our resolve is unshakable. Instead of terrorist attacks, let us resolve our issues through negotiations."

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Violence has been escalating throughout the country as the Taliban and the United States continue peace talks and Afghanistan prepares for September's national election.

On Tuesday, the Taliban said in a statement on its website that it plans to disrupt the elections, claiming them to be illegitimate as the country is "under occupation" and they are only "a ploy to deceive the common people."

Also on Tuesday, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "major progress" had been made in talks between the United States and the Taliban.

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The increase in attacks has resulted in more than 1,500 civilians killed or injured in July alone, the United Nations said in a statement while demanding for all parties to restrain from violence.

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