Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

A suicide bombing in a busy commercial area in Kabul near a string of banks and not far from the U.S. Embassy killed at least five people on Tuesday, Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Elsewhere, at least 13 civilians were killed in an overnight airstrike by the Afghan air force that targeted the Taliban in western Herat province.

In the Kabul attack, the explosion likely targeted a branch of the privately owned Kabul Bank, according to Basir Mujahid, spokesman for the Kabul police chief. The U.S. Embassy compound is located about 500 meters (yards) down the road from the bank.

At the site of the blast, debris and twisted metal lay scattered on the pavement. The front side of the bank was completely shattered and there was much damage to the fronts of several adjacent businesses. A charred motorcycle with its parts mangled lay on the street.

Along with the five killed, the attack also wounded nine, said Mohammad Salim Rasouli, chief of Kabul hospitals at the Health Ministry. He warned that those were only initial reports and that the casualty toll could rise further.

The bomber had walked up to the bank and was about to go through the security check and enter the bank, an Afghan official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Apparently realizing he would not pass the body check, he detonated his explosives vest just outside the door, the official added. (AP)

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Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

An Afghan security force stands guard at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan shopkeepers clean up broken glass at the site of a suicide attack outside a bank near the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Aug. 29, 2017. A suicide bomber blew himself up on a busy shopping street near the US embassy in central Kabul on August 29, killing four people and injuring several others, officials said. It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks to hit the Afghan capital, and comes three months after a massive truck bomb ripped through the same area, killing about 150 people. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan security guard stand in front of Kabul Bank after suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan girls look at the site of a suicide attack through a window of their building in Kabul on Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan security forces inspect at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistann, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

An Afghan shopkeeper looks at broken glass at the site of a suicide attack outside a bank near the US embassy in Kabul on Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

An Afghan security guard stand inside a bank after suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan journalists stand in front of the broken glass of shop at the site of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

An Afghan security guard stand inside a bank after suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

An injured man is carried inside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

Taliban claims Kabul suicide bombing near U.S. Embassy

Afghan health workers carry a dead body of a victim at the site of suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP)