bomb blast

Nine civilians were killed in a car bomb in Kabul on Sunday, according to Afghanistan’s interior minister.

At least 20 others were wounded in the incident, which took place in the city’s police district five, the Minister Masoud Andarabisaid.

A member of parliament, Khan Mohammad Wardak, was among those wounded. Talking to reporters, Andarabi said intelligence reports had shown the Taliban had decided to increase suicide bombings and explosions in cities.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident. Taliban militants have killed at least 487 civilians and wounded close to 1,050 in the past three months, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said the group had conducted 35 suicide bombings and 507 mine explosions in the report, which the Taliban rejected as government propaganda.

The bombing comes as the US envoy for Afghan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that both the Taliban and the Afghan government should reach a political agreement “as soon as possible.”

The Afghan government and the Taliban have been holding peace talks for more than two months aimed at ending decades of war – but the country’s brutal conflict continues.

Since the beginning of the talks, both parties have reported initial progress which was widely welcomed domestically and abroad. Both sides have agreed on the procedures for peace talks and to start discussing the agenda on January 5 after a three-week pause.

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