34 killed in powerful Kabul blast

34 killed in powerful Kabul blast

At least 34 people were killed and 68 others injuredafter apowerful blast rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, authorities said.

A witness told Xinhua news agency that militants had enteredan under-construction building in the high security Pul-i-Mahmoud Khan area andwere exchanging fire with the security forces who reached the area to controlthe situation.

According to the witness, the militants first detonatedtheir explosives-laden car and then began firing.

The area is close to a branch of the the Defence Ministrybuilding, a sports stadium, a branch of the Information and Culture Ministryand houses.

Following the explosion, which could be heard severalkilometres away, a huge rising column of smoke could be seen, reports Efe news.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attackyet.

Monday's attack comes when a Taliban delegation and USrepresentatives are carrying out the seventh round of meetings in Qatar todiscuss peace negotiations in Afghanistan.

Both sides are seeking a way out of nearly two decades ofarmed conflict in the nation, although, so far the Taliban have refused tonegotiate with the Afghan government.

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