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Powerful explosion, gunfire hit Kabul near ‘Green Zone’

Explosion occurs near diplomatic quarters and busy market square.
No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban have intensified.

Smokes rises after an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 1, 2019. A powerful bomb blast rocked the Afghan capital early Monday, rattling windows, sending smoke billowing from Kabul's downtown area and wounding dozens of people. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL: A powerful blast followed by sporadic gunfire hit Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday near the city’s heavily fortified “Green Zone”, an area home to government buildings and foreign embassies, police officials said.

A senior security official said the blast appeared to have been caused by a car bomb and the apparent target was the residence of a member of parliament.

Two gunmen were still in the area and clashing with Afghan security forces, the official said.

The city’s Emergency Hospital said in a tweet it had so far received six people wounded in the attack.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Minutes after the blast hundreds of civilians in Kabul came out on to the streets to express their support for Afghan government forces and opposition to the Taliban.

Last week residents in western Herat braved the streets despite nearby fighting to protest against the Taliban. Other cities quickly organised to join the chant from their homes in the evenings, as a message of support for embattled security forces.

Clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban have intensified across the country with the group gaining control over check points, trading posts and infrastructure projects.

The Taliban said their fighters in Kabul killed a district governor of central Maidan Wardak province on Tuesday, the latest in a series of killings by the group aimed at eliminating senior government officials and social activists.

Ahmed Mukhtar Naqshbandi

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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