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Substantial car bomb hits Afghan capital, casualties feared

A huge car bomb rocked the Afghan capital on Thursday and smoke rose from part of eastern Kabul near a local home the U.S. Embassy, the NATO Resolute Support assignment as well as other diplomatic missions.

Firdaus Faramarz, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, told The Associated Press that the explosion happened in the town’s Ninth Police District. It seemed to target a checkpoint from the heavily guarded Shashdarak region where the Afghan national safety police have offices.

An Associated Press reporter on the telephone with all the U.S. Embassy as soon as the explosion happened heard sirens start there.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a car bomb had exploded on a highway and authorities were sealing off the area. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the assault.

The explosion happened as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul this week, briefing that the Afghan authorities and many others on a bargain he states was reached”in principle” with the Taliban on end America’s greatest war.

A Taliban suicide bombing in southern Kabul on Monday night — that the insurgents said targeted a foreign chemical — killed at least 16 people and injured over 100, virtually all them local civilians.