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Blast in Afghan capital as Taliban battle government forces in south, west

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An explosion near a facility of Afghanistan’s main security agency in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday wounded two civilians and a security official, police said.

The blast near a National Directorate of Security compound came hours after a car bomb and clashes near Kabul’s diplomatic district, in which eight people including four attackers were killed.

There was no claim of responsibility for the Wednesday blast or the late Tuesday attack but they come as the Taliban have stepped up their campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government as U.S.-led foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years of war.

Fighting has been particularly heavy around the city of Herat, near the western border with Iran, and Lashkar Gah and Kandahar in the south.

The late Tuesday bomb-and-gun attack in Kabul was aimed at acting Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and other politicians. Government forces battled the unidentified gunmen for more than four hours. Mohammadi survived.

An Afghan military spokesman said an emergency had been declared in Lashkar Gah and government forces were getting reinforcements and U.S. air support.

via Reuters