A SUICIDE bomber rammed his car packed with explosives into a bus carrying government employees in the Afghan capital early yesterday, killing 24 people and injuring 42 others, Kabul’s police chief spokesman said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which took place in a neighbourhood of western Kabul where several prominent politicians live and at rush hour, as residents were heading to work and students were on their way to a nearby private high school, said the spokesman, Basir Mujahed. “The bomber attacked at one of the busiest times of the day,” he said. “There were traffic jams with people going to work and to the university and schools. Many of the shops had just opened.”

The bus was completely destroyed, along with three other cars and several shops in the area, he said, adding that children were among the wounded. In a statement, the Interior Ministry called the bombing “a criminal act against humanity”.

Loading article content

The police spokesman said the minibus was carrying employees of the mines and petroleum ministry.

The Taliban, in a statement to the media, said they were behind the bombing and that the attack was carried out by an insurgent identified only as Ahmad. Their spokesman said the target of the bombing was the intelligence services and their employees.