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At least five civilians were killed and 50 others were injured Monday after a Taliban attack in Kabul with a truck loaded with explosives near a residential complex where foreign military contractors usually stay.
"Five dead and 50 wounded, all of them civilians, have been evacuated from the area to hospitals," Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said in a statement, adding that these are initial figures and the victims could increase.
The Italian NGO Emergency explained on Twitter that in one of its centers they had received 26 patients after the attack, including "two children who arrived dead."
This attack with a "truck bomb" took place at 9:45 p.m. local time (17.15 GMT on Monday) near Green Village, a high security complex in the east of the capital frequented by foreigners, Rahimi said.
The powerful explosion was heard a dozen kilometers away and caused damage to homes within a kilometer radius, the spokesman said, adding that the explosion also triggered a second detonation and a fire at a nearby gas station.
Although shots were heard, the spokesman said that "there are no attackers involved or attackers in the area."
The manager of the Green Village camp, Baryalai Ghafoori, went further and assured that there was no "suicide attack" against the complex and that what happened was that "a tanker truck full of gasoline (...) exploded in the middle of road".
The deflagration occurred "about 15 meters from one of the seven doors and protective walls" of the complex, Ghafoori remarked, who warned that "an investigation" will clarify what was the "destination of the tank truck", while stressing that Green Village "was not the goal."
"There has been no damage inside the camp, only broken glass. No one in the camp was injured," said the manager.
However, the Taliban made it clear that Green Village was the target of an attack in which they first used a "car bomb to remove security barriers," which allowed the entry of several heavily armed suicide insurgents.
"Dozens of (foreigners) died and were injured," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, adding that the attack continues in that "nest of foreign invaders," perpetrated, noted, in reaction to US and US operations. Afghan army against civilians.
This attack by the Taliban follows a pattern similar to the previous one in the same place that occurred last January, when also during a Monday night the insurgents detonated a car bomb in the residential area, causing at least four dead and 113 injured. The insurgents also referred to this area as "the nest" of the intelligence services.
The attack in the Afghan capital took place on the same day that the United States special representative for Peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, presented to the Government of Kabul the draft agreement with the Taliban after several months of negotiations in Qatar.
The draft provides for the withdrawal of 5,000 soldiers from five bases in which coalition forces remain installed, within 135 days.
In return, the Taliban are committed to reducing violence in Kabul and the northern province of Parwan, where the largest base of international forces is located, Khalilzad said.
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