Mon, 03 Aug 2020

At least seven people were killed and as many injured on November 13 when a car bomb detonated during the morning rush hour near the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul, officials said.

The blast occurred in the Qasaba area of the capital, north of Kabul airport, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told foreign media outlets.

No one or group immediately claimed responsibility. Both the Taliban and Islamic State militant group are active in Kabul.

All the dead were civilians, Rahimi said, while adding that the number of casualties could rise.

'This is the initial information, more details later,' he said.

The blast came a day after the Afghan government released three key Taliban prisoners, including Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Sirajjuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, in exchange for two professors of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul -- an American and an Australian.

Besides Haqqani, Afghan officials have said two other prominent Taliban militants -- Hafiz Rashid Omari and Haji Milli Khan -- were released.

Some analysts had hoped the development could defuse violence in Afghanistan.

Neither the Taliban nor the Haqqani network, which is part of the militant group, have commented so far on the prisoner swap.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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