Taliban claims responsibility for bomb attack in Afghan capital Kabul

Power cuts followed the explosion and gunfire was reportedly heard

Sunday 31 July 2016 23:03
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Aghan policemen keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul
Aghan policemen keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a huge explosion in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The blast occurred at around 01:25 local time on Monday (20:55 GMT on Sunday) and could be heard across the city.

Power appeared to cut off briefly in parts of the city shortly before the explosion, according to reports on social media.

Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul's deputy chief of police, said the explosion happened east of the city's international airport.

Rohani named the Northgate Hotel, which houses international contractors, without giving further details.

An email message from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said insurgents had attacked that hotel with a truck bomb and claimed dozens of casualties.

Afghanistan's Tolo news agency reports that four people may be involved in the incident.

There were also reports of gunfire heard at the scene of the blast, and police and security forces later sealed off the area.

The blast comes about a week after a suicide attack on a demonstration by members of Afghanistan's Hazara community killed at least 80 people and wounded more than 230.

There was no official word on casualties.

Additional reporting by agencies

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