Taliban suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan’s capital have targeted a convoy of foreign troops and a compound of the country’s intelligence agency, wounding three people and killing at least one, Afghan and foreign officials said.
Taliban and other insurgents have stepped up attacks on Afghan and foreign forces this year, after most coalition troops withdrew from the country at the end of 2014.
As security has deteriorated, some Afghan districts have fallen under Taliban control. A growing presence of forces loyal to Islamic State has fuelled concern that parts of the country are slipping out of Kabul’s grasp.
In the first attack, late on Tuesday morning, a car carrying a suicide bomber hit a vehicle carrying foreign forces in the Shah Shaheed area of eastern Kabul, wounding at least two people.
The vehicle caught fire after the explosion. The blast blew it off course and into a wall, leaving behind an empty, charred hulk.
“I can confirm that a suicide car bomber targeted foreign forces,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told Reuters. Police said a foreigner and a bystander were wounded in the incident.
In the second attack, Taliban insurgents raided a compound used by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, killing one security guard and wounding another.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks, which came a week after last Tuesday’s strike by a suicide bomber on a convoy of US troops close to the US embassy.
About 9,800 American troops remain in , down from a peak of about 100,000 in 2011. The majority are training Afghan forces but a few thousand are still engaged in combat operations against the Taliban and others.
On a visit to Kabul on Saturday, US senator John McCain called for American troops to stay longer than planned to prevent gains by the militants. The current schedule is for the military to draw down to an embassy presence by the end of 2016.