Explosion rocks Kabul, near US Embassy and NATO headquarters

Security forces guard the site of a suicide bombing in the diplomatic area of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday Feb. 24, 2018, near the US Embassy and NATO HQ. (Reuters):Picture Credit-Foxnews.com

At least two people were killed and seven wounded Saturday in an attack in Afghanistan’s capital for which the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

A suicide bomber struck in the diplomatic area of Kabul near NATO headquarters and the U.S. Emassy, Afghanistan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said, adding that the casualty count could rise.

Meanwhile, at least 18 soldiers died in an attack on a checkpoint in western Afghanistan. That attack was linked to Taliban insurgents, said Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry. He said two other soldiers were wounded in the attack in the Bala Buluk district.

Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.

ISIS, in a statement posted Saturday by its Aamaq news agency, said the Kabul attack was carried out by a bomber with an explosive vest and targeted the gate of the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence service.

The resurgent Taliban and the newer ISIS affiliate have been blamed for increased violence in Afghanistan after U.S. and NATO forces concluded combat missions in 2014 that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S.

Last month, President Donald Trump issued a stinging statement deploring a Taliban-orchestrated suicide car bombing that killed at least 95 people and wounded 158 others in Kabul.

The latest incident comes shortly after the U.S. Embassy in the Balkan state of Montenegro was attacked Thursday by an individual armed with a hand grenade, who hurled the explosive at the compound before blowing himself up.That attacker reportedly resented NATO and posted pro-Marxist memes online.

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