KABUL – A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan army bus in the centre of Kabul on Thursday, causing numerous casualties, officials said.
One civilian was killed and four people were wounded, including an army officer, they said.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said one of the militant group’s suicide bombers was responsible for the blast.
The Taliban is leading an insurgency against government and foreign forces based in Afghanistan.
The bomber was in a car, a police official said, adding he blew himself up prematurely, before reaching the target.
“The army bus was passing from here when the explosion occurred. It looked like the whole place caught fire. Pieces of metal were flying. I saw one man on bicycle got hurt and policemen put him on a ambulance,” said witness Sayed Tahir.
Ambulances were seen leaving the scene with sirens screaming, and several civilian vehicles were also damaged by the blast, witnesses said.
Buses carrying army and police personnel are a favored Taliban target with at least 65 killed in four such previous attacks in the capital since June last year.
Taliban guerrillas launched more than 140 suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan last year, the highest since the U.S.-led military toppled the Islamic group’s government in 2001.
In the latest violence, Taliban fighters beheaded four Afghan civilians who worked for a local road project in the eastern province of Nuristan on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.
The Taliban could not be reached for comment about the reported beheadings.