Bomb blast kills eight in Afghan capital: police

A remote-controlled bomb attack by Taliban insurgents in the Afghan capital Kabul killed eight people Tuesday, police said.

"A remote-controlled mine struck a civilian minibus in Paghman district around 5:00 am today, killing eight people and injuring one," Kabul police chief General Ayoub Salangi told AFP.

The man who set off the bomb had been arrested, Salangi said, describing him as a member of the hardline Islamist Taliban waging an insurgency against the Afghan government.

All the dead were men, he said, apparently on their way to work in what is a usually peaceful area on the western outskirts of the city.

Roadside bombs are a favourite weapon of Taliban insurgents, but an attack of this kind in the capital is rare.

There has, however, been a surge in insurgent activity in areas surrounding the capital in recent weeks.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has 130,000 US-led troops in Afghanistan, has also noted a spike in attacks countrywide in recent months since the start of the Taliban's annual summer offensive.

The month of June alone saw the highest number of attacks in nearly two years, with more than 100 assaults a day across the country, including firefights and roadside bombings, the US-led coalition said.

For the past five years the number of civilians killed in the war has risen steadily, reaching a record 3,021 in 2011, with the vast majority of the deaths blamed on insurgents, according to UN figures.

 

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