KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside an Afghan government intelligence office near the presidential palace during rush hour on Monday, killing six civilians in a nearby car, officials said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said three other civilians were wounded in the attack in Shashdarak, a Kabul neighborhood with several government offices and heavy security presence.
Police and security vehicles cordoned off rush-hour traffic in the area, which links eastern parts of Kabul to the city center. Witnesses said the attack happened outside the main entrance to a security compound.
“Uniformed forces closed off the main roads. Ambulances were seen leaving the scene, apparently taking casualties to hospitals,” said Qadir Salem, a bystander.
Mariam Attaie, a commuter who was heading to work when the attack happened, wrote on her Facebook page: “My day has been started with sorrow and grief, I was just few meters away from today’s explosion, my ears stopped working for few minutes.”
The bombing comes a week after militants stormed a National Directorate of Security training center in Kabul, which in recent months has been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers with ties to the Islamic State and the Taliban.
No group has taken responsibility for Monday’s attack, and officials say they did not know the bomber’s intended target.
The Islamic State has been ratcheting up suicide attacks targeting government buildings and most recently Shiite mosques in Kabul, inflicting heavy civilian casualties.
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