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28 killed, 320 injured as Taliban bomber attacks security office in Kabul

Gorkha Post

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KABUL — At least 28 people have been killed and more than 320 injured in a suicide bombing and attack by gunmen, claimed by the Taliban, in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said.

Civilian and members from the Afghan security forces were among those caught in the attack and casualty estimates are expected to rise, ministry spokesman Ismail Kawosi said.

The attack was aimed at a building that houses a security service that provides protection for government officials.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” in a statement from the presidential palace, only a few hundred metres away from the scene of the blast.

Several people were killed and wounded in the blast, which struck at the height of the morning peak hour, the palace said.

Gunfire rang out for more than 30 minutes after the blast, according to Reuters witnesses at the scene.

Pictures showed windows blown out at the front of an office that houses a National Directorate of Security (NDS) unit.

The U.S. embassy said it was not affected by the blast.

The NATO-led force also said it was unaffected.

The Taliban said on their Pashto-language website that they had carried out the suicide bombing on “Department 10”, an NDS unit, which is responsible for protecting government ministers and VIPs.

They said a suicide car bomber blew up the main gate at the front of the office, allowing other fighters, including more suicide bombers, to enter the heavily guarded compound.

Agencies

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Magnitude 8.2 quake rattles Fiji

Thompson Reuters

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A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday but it was so deep that it was not expected to cause any damage, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The US Tsunami Warning Center also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.

The quake was 347.7 miles (560 km) below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.

“I would not expect any damage. People will feel it but it’s so deep that I would not expect any damage,” USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said by telephone.

The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep.

The epicenter was located 167 miles (270 km) east of Levuka in Fiji and 275 miles (443 km) west of Neiafu in Tonga.

The area is located on the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire.

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