Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 21, 2021
A blast targeting a police vehicle has killed at least two people and wounded at least five others in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Police said the explosion happened near Baraqi Square, a busy intersection in Kabul’s fourth district at around 4:30 p.m.
The dead include the driver of the police car and a child who was standing nearby. Women and children are among the bystanders who were wounded.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Authorities have blamed the fundamentalist Taliban militia for an upsurge in similar, unclaimed attacks as frustrations mount over a stalemate in inter-Afghan talks to end two decades of war.
The peace talks, in Doha between the central Afghan government and the Taliban, have made little progress since beginning in the late summer.
The negotiations could pave the way for possible further reductions in international troop numbers in Afghanistan.
NATO postponed a final decision on whether or when to withdraw troops from Afghanistan during a virtual meeting of alliance defense ministers on February 18.
The meeting came as President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing a U.S.-Taliban deal to determine if the militant group is meeting its commitments, including reaching a cease-fire and engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government.
Under the deal, all foreign forces are to leave Afghanistan by May in exchange for security guarantees from the militant group, such as severing ties with Al-Qaeda.
Kabul has seen an increase in recent months in the use of so-called sticky bombs — magnetically attached to a vehicle — and targeted bombings.
At least three mine explosions were reported in Kabul alone on February 20, killing at least four people and injuring two more.
Based on reporting by Radio Free Afghanistan, AP, and AFP