July 15, 2014 - 12:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A roadside bomb ripped through a minivan carrying employees of the presidential palace in eastern Kabul on Tuesday, July 15, killing two passengers, Afghan officials said, according to the Associated Press.
The explosion struck in the morning hours as the vehicle was taking the palace staffers to work, said Gul Agha Hashimi, the chief of criminal investigations with the Kabul police.
There were seven staffers on board the van, all employees of the palace's media office. The blast occurred as the vehicle was passing by several shops and residential homes.
The explosion also wounded five other people inside the minivan, including the driver, said Hashimi, speaking to reporters at the site of the blast. "One passenger survived unharmed," he added, according to the AP.
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said it was a remotely detonated device planted along the midsection of a main road.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to reporters.
Roadside bombings are a major threat to both Afghan security forces and civilians across the country. Such attacks have escalated as the Taliban intensify their campaign ahead of the U.S.-led foreign forces' withdrawal by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, a car packed with explosives exploded on Monday at a crowded market in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika, killing at least 30 people and wounded 40, police said.
"Right now, police are taking all the wounded to hospitals," a local deputy police chief, Nissar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, said.