Kabul, Afghanistan: A large suicide car bombing struck downtown Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, apparently targeting justice ministry employees and killing at least six people, an Afghan official said.
The attack happened in the car park of the Justice Ministry when a car packed with explosives was detonated, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. He said at least six people were killed and nine were wounded in the explosion.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, Ismail Kahossi, said a total of 42 people were taken to hospitals around the Afghan capital following the blast. Some sustained only minor injuries from flying glass.
The 4 p.m. bombing coincided with the end of the working day, when ministry employees board minibuses in the car park to go home. The ministry is surrounded by buildings and shops and is located in one of the busiest areas of downtown Kabul.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene said windows in buildings in the area had been blown out, indicating a huge explosion.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Tuesday's blast was the third in the capital in the past week. The Taliban said they were behind an attack on a Kabul guesthouse last week that killed 14 people, including nine foreigners, and also a suicide car bombing this week that killed three people, among them two young girls and a British security contractor.
The Taliban launched their spring offensive in late April with attacks across a widespread area of the country in what appears to be a fresh strategy aimed at forcing the government to concentrate its efforts and assets on security — rather than on much-needed economic reforms.