At least 7 people, including 4 foreigners killed and 10 injured when a car bomb exploded in Kabul on Wednesday.
The spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, said the bomb — targeting an SUV belonging to a Canadian private security firm, GardaWorld — had gone off in a neighborhood near the Ministry of the Interior and north of Kabul airport.
Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi said a 13-year-old child heading to school was one of those killed.
“The enemies of our people should know that our people are determined for peace, nothing can stop them from achieving peace,” he said.
A source at the Ministry of the Interior said a suicide bomber in the vehicle detonated the explosion, which was previously described by officials as a truck.
There was no immediate liability argument. The Taliban and ISIS are both involved in the region, one of the deadliest places for civilians in the war-torn country.
The explosion came one day after the announcement by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Kabul will release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in an apparent prisoner swap with Western hostages abducted in 2016 by the insurgents.
The three Taliban hostages include Anas Haqqani, who was captured in 2014 and whose older brother is the deputy Taliban chief and member of the infamous Taliban branch Haqqani network.
Afghan President Talks About Car Bomb Explosion
Ghani did not indicate the fate of the Western hostages — an Australian and an American, both professors at Kabul’s American University — and it was not clear when or where they would be released.
The two were kidnapped from the heart of Kabul in August 2016, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks.
Both later appeared to look haggard in a hostage video from the Taliban, with the militants saying King was in poor health.
Ghani noted in his speech that “their health has been deteriorating while in the custody of the terrorists”.
He also did not say when or where the captives of the Taliban would be released.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told AFP Wednesday that he could not yet say anything about the exchange.
“When our captives reach their destination, the American University professors will be released,” he said.
Also, Ghani said that he hoped the decision would help “pave the way” for the start of unofficial direct talks between his government and the Taliban. Further, who have long refused to negotiate with the administration in Kabul.