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20 Dead In Suicide Attack Hitting Minibus In Kabul: Interior Ministry

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN:  At least 20 people were killed and eight wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a minibus carrying Nepalese security guards in Kabul Monday, an Afghan interior ministry spokesman said.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack on social media, claiming it was "against the forces of aggression" in Afghanistan.

It was the first attack in the capital since the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan two weeks ago.

The attacker was on foot, according to police, adding there were "multiple casualties" among the bus passengers who were "employees of a foreign compound".

The bus was carrying Nepalese guards, according to an AFP cameraman, who also reported more than two dozen ambulances at the scene.

The last attack in the Afghan capital on April 19 left 64 dead and more than 340 wounded.

Taliban has been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government since they were ousted from power by a US-led invasion in late 2001.

Washington recently announced an expansion of the US military's authority to conduct air strikes against the Taliban, significantly boosting Afghan forces who have limited close air-support capacities.

US forces have been in an advisory role in Afghanistan since the start of 2015 and were only authorised to hit Taliban targets for defensive reasons, or to protect Afghan troops.

The changes mean US troops can now work more closely with local fighters in striking the Taliban, who have demanded the departure of all foreign forces.


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