Correction: Afghanistan story

July 26, 2019 - 8:16 am

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In a story July 25 about bombings in Kabul, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Taliban claimed responsibility for all three attacks. The Taliban claimed responsibility for one attack, and the Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the other two.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Afghan capital hit with 3 bombings, at least 10 die

IS militants, Taliban strike Kabul with 3 bombings, killing at least 10 people as US Marine general visits Afghan capital

By AMIR SHAH

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Islamic militants carried out three bombings in the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing at least 10 people — including five women and a child — as the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff was visiting Kabul, officials said.

The Taliban said they were behind one of the bombings while the Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the other two.

The attacks came as Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford was in the Afghan capital to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, according to a statement from the president's office.

The morning's first attack was carried out by an IS suicide bomber on a motorcycle who blew himself up in front of a bus carrying Ministry of Mines employees, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

A suicide car bomb then struck in the capital's east, according to police officer Abdul Rahman, who said the bomber targeted international coalition forces in Kabul. The Taliban claimed that attack.

However, NATO troops told The Associated Press their forces were not at the site when the explosion happened.

The third blast, also by IS, was a smaller magnetic explosive device left near the scene of the bus attack, which caused no deaths, said Rahimi, the Interior Ministry spokesman.

At least 41 people were also wounded in the attacks, said Wahidullah Mayar, a spokesman for country's Health Ministry.

Both the Taliban and IS militants regularly stage attacks in the Afghan capital and elsewhere in the country. The Taliban control around half of Afghanistan and have continued to mainly target Afghan security forces, even while holding negotiations with the U.S., aimed at ending the 18-year war.

President Ghani's office issued a statement saying he and Dunford had met to discuss peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Later Thursday, the State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ghani had spoken by phone the previous day, agreeing it was time to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan, America's longest conflict.

Pompeo assured Ghani of President Donald Trump's commitment to a conditions-based drawdown of U.S. forces in the country.

U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been negotiating with the Taliban, is also in Kabul to discuss in detail the next steps on the road to peace. The Taliban have steadfastly refused to talk directly with Ghani's government, calling it a U.S. puppet.

Separately, in the eastern Nangarhar province, a roadside bomb killed seven people and wounded four others who were traveling in a vehicle on Thursday, said Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Among the dead were six women and one child, Khogyani said, adding that they were on their way to attend a wedding party.

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The Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

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