Insurgents detonated a suicide car bomb near a convoy of international soldiers in Kabul early Tuesday morning, killing three soldiers and injuring nearly 20 troops and civilians, according to coalition forces.
The blast occurred on the capital’s airport road in an area where the U.S. Embassy and Afghanistan’s Supreme Court are located.
The International Security Assistance Force, as the U.S.-led NATO coalition is known, did not immediately disclose the nationalities of the victims. The Afghan Interior Ministry said at least 13 Afghans were wounded in the blast.
A resident said he heard a “huge blast” and saw plumes of smoke shortly after 8 a.m. He also reported seeing dismembered body parts on the street as people ran from the scene.
Mohammed Ayoub Salangi, a senior Interior Ministry official, said the convoy carrying coalition soldiers was the target.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
Coalition officials also said that an international soldier was shot and killed Monday in western Afghanistan by a person wearing an Afghan army uniform but did not offer details. So-called insider attacks by Afghan soldiers against allied troops were once prevalent in Afghanistan but have declined in recent years as international forces withdraw and the remaining forces observe stricter security procedures.
Tuesday’s blast came as Afghanistan awaits the outcome of a contentious audit of ballots cast in a June presidential runoff election. The two candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, were locked in tense negotiations over the shape of a possible unity government made up of officials from both camps.
Latifi is a special correspondent. The Associated Press contributed to this report.