Afghanistan blast kills at least 16

Italian soldiers stand near their vehicle, destroyed by a car bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday.
At least 16 people were killed, including international soldiers, and 55 were wounded when a car bomb rocked parts of Afghanistan’s capital Thursday, authorities said.

At least six Italian soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in the blast, Ignazio La Russa, Italy’s defense minister said. Ten Afghan civilians were also killed, said Fareed Rayel, an Afghan Ministry of Public Health spokesman. The blast occurred in a mostly residential area near the Supreme Court of Afghanistan in Kabul, a witness said. Ministry of Interior spokesman Zamarai Bashiri said 21 shops, seven vehicles, five motorbikes and three bicycles were damaged in the explosion. The soldiers were traveling on Airport Road in Kabul when they were targeted by a suicide car bomber, the defense minister said. Afghan military ambulances were taking bodies away and at least three U.S. military vehicles were seen driving toward the scene of the blast.

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In a separate incident, a service member with the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan was killed in southern Afghanistan, military officials said Thursday. The victim died Wednesday after after being struck by a roadside bomb, the International Security Assistance Force said. “On behalf of the men and women serving with ISAF, I convey my deepest sympathies to the loved ones of this brave soldier,” said Brigadier-General Eric Tremblay, ISAF spokesman. “His selfless efforts to bring hope to the population of Afghanistan will not be forgotten.” The service member’s nationality and name, and other details about the incident, were not released.