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'Many Killed, Wounded' In Kabul Taliban Attack

A person who was injured in a suicide attack in Kabul on April 19.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says "many" people have been killed and wounded in an ongoing Taliban attack in central Kabul.

Ghani said in an April 19 statement that the "terrorist attack" took place in the Puli Mahmood Khan neighborhood.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said a suicide attacker detonated a vehicle.

The blast was followed by gunfire and an area located close to the Defense Ministry and security agencies was surrounded by security forces.

Kabul's emergency hospital said it had received at least 18 wounded people. Some reports said the wounded included Afghan soldiers.

An unidentified official of the National Directorate for Security was quoted as saying at least 15 of its personnel were killed.

Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawusi said more than 160 people were wounded.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes a week after the militant group announced the start of its annual spring offensive.

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa