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At Least 10 People Killed In Blasts In Kabul

Afghan security officials inspect the scene of a bomb blast in Kabul on June 1.

At least 10 civilians have been killed in two blasts in the western part of Kabul, Afghan security officials said, amid an uptick in violence across Afghanistan since the start of the international military withdrawal.

Another 14 people were wounded in the separate explosions that targeted two minibuses, Kabul police spokesman Ferdows Faramarz said late on June 1.

However, eye witnesses told Tolo News that the casualty toll was considerably higher.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombings.

Both Taliban and the Islamic State militants carry out bombings in Afghanistan.

U.S. President Joe Biden last month announced the withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 U.S. troops and thousands of U.S. contractors by September. About 7,000 NATO troops also are being withdrawn.

The Pentagon has indicated that the pace of the withdrawal was picking up. As of May 30, U.S. Central Command estimated it had completed 30-44 percent of the so-called "retrograde" process.

Meanwhile, NATO’s exit from Afghanistan is “progressing in an orderly and coordinated way” ahead of a planned complete pullout by September 11, according to the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

But major issues remain over how the 30-nation alliance will continue to fund the corruption-ridden Afghan security forces, whether to continue training special forces troops somewhere outside the country, and what forces will protect civilian workers, embassies, and the Kabul airport.

An unnamed American official was quoted on June 2 as saying that the U,S. military will hand over its main Bagram Air Base to Afghan forces in about 20 days.

The huge base, built by the Soviets in the 1980s, is the biggest military facility used by U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, with tens of thousands of troops stationed there during the peak of America's military involvement in the violence-wracked country.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, and
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