Explosion near Kabul airport, 4 dead

KABUL (TIP): An apparent suicide car bombing at a busy roundabout near the entrance to Kabul’s international airport on Monday killed at least four people and wounded another 15, officials said.

A huge plume of black smoke rose above the city after the midday explosion, as police, soldiers and ambulances rushed to the site, which is usually thronging with pedestrians and vehicles.

Wahidullah Mayar, the spokesman for the ministry of public health, said at least four bodies had been recovered. “Among the injured are one child and one woman,'” he said.

Gen. Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul’s deputy police chief, said he was told a suicide car bomber had struck the front gate of the airport and was on his way to the scene.

The charred remains of a car lay on its side near the roundabout. Nearby shops were destroyed and the windows of a wedding hall at the intersection were shattered, witnesses said.

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The entrance to the airport is often clogged with traffic, as vehicles must stop at a number of checkpoints.

Why west may miss reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar

Kabul has been rocked by a series of attacks in recent days that have killed scores of people and wounded hundreds.

The latest violence comes after the Afghan intelligence service said the Taliban’s longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had been dead for more than two years. The disclosure of his death, later confirmed by the Taliban, triggered an internal succession dispute and raised questions about the future direction of the insurgency.

President Ashraf Ghani was due to hold a televised press conference later Monday.

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