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Bomb in Kabul kills 2 presidential palace staffers

The damaged interior of a vehicle is seen at the site of a bomb blast on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. (AP/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL: A roadside bomb ripped through a minivan carrying employees of the presidential palace in eastern Kabul Tuesday, killing two passengers, Afghan officials said.

The explosion struck in the morning hours as the vehicle was taking the palace staffers to work, said Gul Agha Hashimi, the chief of criminal investigations with the Kabul police.

There were seven staffers on board the van, all employees of the palace's media office. The blast occurred as the vehicle was passing by several shops and residential homes.

The explosion also wounded five other people inside the minivan, including the driver, said Hashimi, speaking to reporters at the site of the blast. "One passenger survived unharmed," he added.

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said it was a remotely detonated device planted along the midsection of a main road.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to reporters.

Roadside bombings are a major threat to both Afghan security forces and civilians across the country. Such attacks have escalated as the Taliban intensify their campaign ahead of the U.S.-led foreign forces' withdrawal by the end of 2014.

 

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