Bomb blast targets foreign forces in Kabul

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KABUL, May 3: A bomb blast targeting a convoy of foreign forces near the US embassy in Kabul Wednesday killed at least three people and wounded 15, officials said, the latest militant attack to rock the Afghan capital.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the blast targeted “a convoy of foreign forces passing the area”.

“We are checking the details,” he told AFP. A health ministry spokesman verified the toll, but could not say whether the victims were foreign soldiers or civilians.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came days after the Taliban launched their so-called “spring offensive”, in which they vowed to target international troops.

The annual offensive normally marks the start of the “fighting season”, though this winter the Taliban continued to battle government forces.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who visited Kabul last month as the US seeks to craft a new strategy in Afghanistan, warned of “another tough year” in the war-torn country for both foreign troops and local forces.

He would not be drawn, however, on recent calls by NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson for a “few thousand” more troops to break the “stalemate” against the insurgents.

The Afghan conflict is the longest in US history — US-led NATO troops have been at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The US has around 8,400 troops in the country with about another 5,000 from NATO allies.

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