A suicide car bomb exploded in an eastern district of Kabul followed by gunfire as militants attacked a compound housing a private security company, the latest violence to hit the Afghan capital.
The blast happened late Wednesday, November 28 in the eastern police district 9 of the city, near the area containing government buildings, foreign embassies and non-governmental organizations.
Photographs posted to social media appear to show a large smoke plume, and Bismillah Taban, head of the police district, said the attack was a car bomb that targeted the Camp Anjoman complex where the British security company G4S is located, Tolo news reported.
A G4S spokesperson confirmed the attack on one of its Kabul locations, telling The Defense Post in an emailed statement that it was coordinating with the Afghan authorities.
Ten people were killed and 19 evacuated from the site for treatment, AFP reported health ministry spokesperson Wahid Majroh as saying. Interior Ministry deputy spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the toll.
Interior ministry spokesperson Najib Danish earlier said 11 people were injured.
Kabul – PD9 Explosion. pic.twitter.com/PHvsQ1uZD2
— Muslim Shirzad (@MuslimShirzad) November 28, 2018
Camp Anjoman is a purpose-built facility with NATO-standard armory, blast walls and underground bunkers, according to security company Ipsotek, which provides video surveillance services at the base.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claiming that “hundreds” of people were killed. The group is known to exaggerate the casualties from its attacks.
It was unclear whether the attack targeted civilians, who have borne the brunt of increased violence after 17 years of war.
A recent United Nations report said Afghan civilians continue to face “extreme levels of harm,” with 8,050 people killed or wounded between January and September this year.
Violence has intensified in the past year as U.S. and Afghan forces step up ground and air offensives against Taliban and Islamic State Khorasan Province insurgents.
But Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has redoubled his efforts to end the conflict. Earlier on Wednesday, Ghani named a 12-person negotiating team for peace talks with the Taliban.
A Taliban delegation met with U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for talks in Doha in October and November. Khalilzad has said he is “cautiously optimistic” for an end to the conflict.