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Bombing In Afghanistan Targeting Vice President Kills 10, Injures More Than 30 Others

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A roadside bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul targeting the vice president killed 10 people and injured more than two dozen others Wednesday.

The bomb, hidden in a cart on the side of the road, was detonated as a convoy carrying the country’s first vice president, Amrullah Saleh, drove past, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Saleh and his convoy were traveling through a section of Kabul with shops that sell gas cylinders typically used for heating homes and cooking, the Interior Ministry said according to the report. When the bomb detonated, it ignited fires that set numerous shops on fire.

Saleh suffered minor burns in the blast, and said in a television appearance after the attack that he was fine, despite bandages on one hand, per the same report.

“Me and my younger son who was with me are fine,” Saleh said, per the AP. “I have slight burns on my face and hand from the wave of the blast. I don’t have exact details right now, but I apologize to those who suffered casualties and those who lost their property in the attack.”

At least 31 people were injured during the attack, according to the report.

Saleh, a former intelligence chief and outspoken critic of the Taliban, has survived other assassination attempts, including one in 2019 that killed 20 people, according to Al Jazeera.

The Taliban denied involvement in the Wednesday attack, with Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed saying “today’s explosion in Kabul has nothing to do with the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate,” according to the AP.

Head of Afghanistan’s negotiating team with the Taliban, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, condemned the attacks in a tweet.

“The attack on Mr. Amrullah Saleh, the First Vice President is unjustifiable. Sadly, a number of our citizens were martyred and wounded. This attack takes place at a time when our people are desperately looking for peace.”

The UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said she was “relieved” to hear Saleh survived in a tweet.

“Relieved to hear @AmrullahSaleh2 survived today’s deplorable attack in #Kabul #Afghanistan and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. Shocked by initial high number of civilian casualties, mainly bystanders. Perpetrators must face justice.

The attack comes as peace negotiations are expected to begin soon. The peace talks were part of a U.S peace deal made with the Taliban in Qatar in February, according to the AP. (RELATED: REPORT: US, Taliban Reach Afghanistan Truce Agreement)

No one has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.