ASIA: Deadly Suicide Blast Hits Afghan Capital After Relative Calm

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Afghan officials say a suicide blast near a military academy in Kabul early Tuesday killed at least six people, including four soldiers.

The bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at a checkpoint near the entrance to the capital city’s Marshal Fahim Military Academy.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the blast injured at least 12 people, including both civilians and military personnel.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack but the military academy has been the target of suicide bombings in the past by the Taliban insurgency and Islamic State militants.

Tuesday’s violence came after around three months of a lull in such attacks in Kabul, mainly attributed to ongoing peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

A suicide car bombing in the Afghan capital last November had killed at least 12 people, including a foreign national working with the United Nations.  

The turbulent months-long U.S.-Taliban dialogue being hosted by Qatar has appeared to bog down in recent days over Washington’s demands for the insurgent group to commit to a “significant and lasting” reduction in violence before a deal is signed to end the 18-year-old Afghan war, America’s longest.

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