3 killed in Taliban attack on Afghan army bus

Third straight day of Taliban suicide attacks in Kabul follows inauguration of President Ghani

A suicide bombing struck Kabul for the fourth time this week, killing at least three people in an attack targeting army soldiers, officials said.

The attack occurred around 7 a.m. Thursday far from the city center, in the Dogh Abad section of the capital, but still underscored Kabul’s vulnerability as President Ashraf Ghani takes office.

Officials said the bombing was carried out by a lone individual, who was on foot and detonated his explosives near a bus carrying members of the Afghan army. The Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed three deaths and seven injuries.

The Taliban, who carried out two suicide attacks in Kabul on Wednesday that killed eight Afghan soldiers, claimed responsibility. There was also an attack Monday.

The attacks have come after Afghanistan signed a strategic security pact with the United States that extends the presence of some U.S. and international military personnel beyond December, when the current mandate of U.S.-led NATO forces ends.

Afghan and U.S. officials say the continued presence of about 9,800 U.S. troops is needed to continue training and advising Afghan forces, who are now in charge of nearly all combat operations.

But the Taliban, whom Ghani has urged to join the political process, remain strongly opposed to the foreign troop presence. The insurgent group referred to the Afghan army as “hireling commando forces” in a purported Twitter statement Thursday.

Latifi is a special correspondent.

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