Deadly blast hits minibus on busy street in Afghan capital

Afghanistan, Kabul, Blast

At least one person has died and five others were injured after a bomb exploded on a minibus on a busy commercial street in Kabul.

The blast took place in a neighbourhood mainly populated by members of Afghanistan’s minority Hazara community, emergency workers and the bus driver said.

The bus driver told AP from hospital that at one point during his route, a suspicious-looking man got onto the bus a few minutes before the explosion hit the back of the vehicle.

The driver said he saw two passengers with their clothes on fire falling out of the back of the bus, while others escaped out the front.

Ambulance teams at the scene said that the blast was apparently caused by a bomb.

However, the spokesman for Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said a fire broke out on the minibus, triggering the blast.

Photos from the scene showed the burning wreckage of a vehicle with a pall of smoke rising into the air.

The explosion took place on the main avenue running through Dashti Barchi, a sprawling area on the west side of Kabul largely populated by Hazaras.

Afghanistan’s Hazaras, who are mostly Shia Muslims, have been the target of a brutal campaign of violence for the past several years, blamed on the so-called Islamic State group (IS).

Militants have carried out several deadly attacks in Dashti Barchi, including a 2020 attack on a maternity hospital.

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