Three explosions have rocked Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, killing a total of at least 12 people and wounding dozens of others, according to officials.
The first blast targeted a bus carrying government employees in eastern Kabul at about 8:10am (03:40 GMT) on Thursday, killing at least five people and injuring 10 others, according to a spokesman for the interior ministry.
“First a magnetic bomb pasted to a minibus exploded, then a suicide bomber blew himself near the bus attack site and the third blast happened when a car was blown up by unknown militants,” Nasrat Rahimi said.
The bus belonged to the ministry of mines and petroleum, Rahimi said, warning the death toll could rise.
The second suicide explosion killed at least seven people and wounding 20 others, officials said. There were no fatalities in the third blast, according to the interior ministry.
A spokesman for the Taliban claimed responsibility for one of the bombings in Kabul, but denied involvement in the other two attacks.
The armed group has continued to launch daily assaults, mainly targeting security forces, even while holding negotiations with the United States aimed at ending the 18-year war.
The US is negotiating for an accord that would see foreign forces pull out of the country in return for various Taliban security guarantees, including a pledge that Afghanistan will not become a safe haven for armed groups.
Some observers say the Taliban are increasing attacks to gain greater leverage in the talks.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, seven civilians – six women and a child – were killed in a roadside bombing in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, the provincial governor’s office said.
Four others, including one woman were injured in Thursday’s incident, which took place in Khogyani district.
The roadside bomb struck a mini-bus carrying a family that was heading to a wedding, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Meanwhile, at least 35 policemen have been killed in a Taliban attack on facilities in Afghanistan’s northern province of Takhar, former district governor Sayed Mehrabuddin told DPA news agency.
At least 12 people, including six policemen, were also injured in the five-hour-long battle on Wednesday night in Ishkamish district, he said.
However, another official, provincial council member Mawlawi Keramatullah, said that the death toll was as high as 43 policemen with nine others missing. He said Taliban fighters overran the base and destroyed it before leaving.
Al Jazeera and news agencies