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Kabul vehicle bomb attack: Two Australian nationals wounded says Julie Bishop

04 March 2018

The intended target was not clear, but a statement from the Australian Foreign Ministry said the explosion took place near Australian embassy vehicles as they were traveling in the city.

Security forces rushed to the scene as passers-by helped move the wounded, with witnesses complaining to AFP that ambulances took around half an hour to arrive.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the suicide bomber targeted a "convoy of foreigners" but did not offer further details or clarify whether it was foreign forces who were targeted or contractors.

Since a US-led intervention in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks overthrew the Taliban regime, the Islamist group has been under pressure to renounce its hardline ideals.

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It was first thought no Australians were injured in the attack on Friday, but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed two suffered minor injuries.

"Unfortunately around 9:00 am, a vehicle bombing took place in (the) Qabil Bay area of Kabul".

However, a security source told TOLOnews that three people were killed in the explosion.

Lt. Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua, Pakistan's national security advisor, conveyed a message to the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal: "Pakistan welcomed President Ghani's offer of seeking peace through dialogue and we are ready to extend all possible support to bring peace in Afghanistan", the Pakistan daily The Nation reported today.

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"We fully endorse President Ghani's call for the Taliban to join the peace process", Gresback, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman, said in his statement.

Since November, the USA military has increased air strikes against Taliban positions, training camps and heroin laboratories, which are an important source of revenue for the group.

But Ghani and United States officials now accept that the Taliban can enter peace talks without first accepting the country´s new democratic constitution and its protections for women and minority groups.

In late January, a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235.

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Kabul vehicle bomb attack: Two Australian nationals wounded says Julie Bishop