A suicide bomber attacked an Afghan air force bus that was carrying military personnel early on Wednesday in Kabul, killing eight people and wounding 13, media reports said, citing security officials.
The explosion, which was claimed by the Taliban, reportedly took place in an area near Kabul University in the Afghan capital. Ashmat Stanikzai, a local police spokesman, said, according to Reuters, that at least five of the people killed were air force personnel. Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, reportedly confirmed that the air force bus had been the group's target.
"A suicide bomber targeted an ANA (Afghan National Army) bus this morning killing five ANA officers and wounding four in the west of Kabul," Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the interior ministry told Agence France-Presse, according to BBC, adding: "Five civilians were also wounded. It was an ANA air force vehicle."
However, the bomber was stopped before he could enter the bus, limiting the number of casualties, Gen. Kadamshah Shahim of the Afghan army said, according to Associated Press. The Taliban spokesman reportedly exaggerated the death toll claiming that 25 people had been killed in the attack, reports said.
The recent attack by the group comes amid heightened political tensions in the country over the on-going election vote count, which will mark the first democratic transition in power as President Hamid Karzai’s second term comes to an end.
Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and one of two candidates contesting the presidential election, has reportedly warned that he will boycott the results of the June 14 ballot, claiming that supporters of his opponent tried to rig the vote.