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Taliban Attack Rocks International Area Of Kabul, Killing At Least Five

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KABUL -- A loud explosion has jolted the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least five civilians, officials say.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujadid said the militant group was behind the September 2 attack, which he said involved a car bombing and gunmen.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said the car bombing happened at around 9:45 p.m. local time near the Green Village, a large compound to the east of the city that houses aid agencies and international organizations.

"A nearby gas station also caught fire and exploded. Police and special forces have arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area," Rahimi tweeted.

The spokesman later said that five civilians were killed and around 50 other people wounded in the blast, adding that the toll could rise because a number of homes were destroyed.

The sound of gunfire could also be heard in the aftermath of the explosion and a cloud of smoke could be seen spiraling into the sky over the area.

The attack came as U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul to discuss with Afghan officials a draft peace deal with the Taliban.

Kabul's Green Village was targeted by a truck bomb in January that killed four people and wounded 90 others.

Green Village is separate from the nearby Green Zone, a heavily fortified part of Kabul that is home to several embassies including the U.S. and British facilities.

With reporting by Reuters, Tolo News, AFP, AP, and dpa
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