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At Least Five Killed In Suicide Blast Near Kabul Military Academy


Afghan security forces carry a damaged vehicle from the site of a suicide attack that targeted the entrance gate of Marshal Fahim Military Academy in Kabul on February 11.

KABUL -- A suicide bombing targeting a military academy in a southern neighborhood of Kabul has killed at least five people, in what was described as the first major assault in the Afghan capital in months.

The Defense Ministry told RFE/RL that the February 11 blast at a checkpoint near the entrance of the government-run Marshal Fahim Military Academy claimed five lives.

However, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi put the death toll at six, saying those killed included four army personnel and two civilians.

Rahimi said 12 people were wounded, including five civilians.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened around 7 a.m. local time as employees and cadets were entering the academy.

A security source was quoted as saying the attacker was on foot when he targeted a vehicle as it was entering the facility.

A witness said there was a big explosion followed by gunfire.

The academy has been the scene of several attacks in the past, including an assault in May last year that was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The latest attack comes as U.S. and Taliban negotiators wrangle over a possible peace deal to end the nearly two-decade war.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the bombing "a crime against humanity" and reiterated his call for a nationwide cease-fire.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack "shows the consequences of horrendous violence against innocent civilians" and "demonstrates the strong need to find a peaceful resolution" to the Afghan conflict.

On February 10, President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to pay respects to two U.S. soldiers killed this weekend in Afghanistan.

The two U.S. servicemen were killed and six others were wounded in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province on February 8 when a soldier dressed in an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire with a machine gun.

A total of six U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of the year.

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

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