More than a dozen mortar shells yesterday slammed into different parts of the Afghan capital, killing at least three people and wounding 11 others, an Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs spokesman said.
Afghan Ministry of Public Health officials put the death toll at five with 25 injured. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in figures.
The shells were fired from two vehicles, Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs spokesman Tariq Arian said.
No one took immediate responsibility for the early morning attack that also targeted the posh Wazir Akbar Khan area of the capital, which houses diplomatic missions.
The Taliban issued a statement denying any responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State affiliate also operates in the area and has claimed responsibility for recent assaults in Kabul, including two devastating attacks on educational institutions that killed more than 50 people, many of them students.
As well as insurgent groups, there are several heavily armed warlords with militias living in Kabul with longstanding animosities against each other.
The mortar barrage comes as representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban continued to hold talks in Qatar, although progress has been slow.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was yesterday expected to press for a reduction in violence in his meetings with Taliban and government negotiating teams during a daylong stop in Doha. The Taliban have mostly ignored such previous requests.
Hours before the attack rattled Kabul, a bomb attached to a vehicle killed one security personnel and wounded three others in an eastern neighborhood of the capital, Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said.
Violence in Afghanistan has spiked in the past few months with increasingly horrific attacks often claimed by the Islamic State affiliate. Still the Taliban have been waging near daily assaults on beleaguered Afghan security forces.
There have been increasing calls for a ceasefire if peace talks are to continue. The Taliban have been steadfast in their refusal, demanding that any cease-fire be part of the negotiations.
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