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  • Kabul accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year so far.

    Kabul accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year so far. | Photo: AFP

Monday's suicide bombing targeted Afghan government personnel.

A Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul Monday, killing up to 35 people and wounding more than 40, government officials said, in one of the worst attacks in the Afghan capital in recent weeks.

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Police cordoned off the area, located near the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq in a part of the city where many of the mainly Shi'ite Hazara community live.

Monday's suicide bombing, which targeted government personnel, continued the unrelenting violence that has killed more than 1,700 civilians in Afghanistan so far this year.

The Taliban, which is battling the Western-backed government and a NATO-led coalition for control of Afghanistan, has launched a wave of attacks around the country in recent days, sparking fighting in more than half a dozen provinces.

On Sunday, dozens of Afghan troops came under siege after Taliban fighters invaded a district in northern Faryab province, a spokesperson for the provincial police said.

"I was in my shop when suddenly I heard a terrible sound and as a result, all of my shop windows shattered," said Ali Ahmed, a resident in the area of Monday's blast.

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Acting Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish said at least 24 people had been killed and 40 wounded but the casualty toll could rise further.

Another senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the incident with the media, said the toll stood at 35 killed.

That was in line with a claim on Twitter by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who said 37 "intelligence workers" had been killed. Mujahid said in a tweet claiming responsibility for the attack the target had been two buses that had been under surveillance for two months.

Danish told AFP that the blast, which occurred around 7 a.m., "hit a bus carrying employees of the Ministry of Mines during rush hour."

Additionally, government security sources confirmed that a small Ministry of Mines-owned bus had been destroyed in the city, while three civilian vehicles and 15 shops were destroyed or damaged in the blast, the Interior Ministry said.

Salim Rasouli, director of the city's hospitals, said at least 13 dead and 17 wounded had been taken to medical facilities.

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