U.S., Taliban close to reduction in violence agreement

Taliban Deny Attack as 6 Killed in Suicide Blast in Kabul

Nasrat Rahimi said, "The blast affected several people, including civilians and military personnel".

The bombing took place near the government-run defense university, the Marshal Fahim Military Academy, at the beginning of the morning rush hour.

The explosion rocked the area in the immediate vicinity of Marshal Fahim military academy's gate in Kabul at about 7:00 am local time - when students and staff were streaming into the building, TOLO News reported, citing witnesses.

The blast comes just days after a militant posing as an Afghan Army soldier opened fire on a combined US-Afghan unit in Nangarhar province, killing two American soldiers and injuring six others, the latest in a series of similar attacks.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes after almost three months of relative calm in the Afghan capital.

The European Union Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia tweeted following the attack: "You want to be heard?" While the identities of the three victims are not yet public, officials did say there were both military and civilian casualties.

An Afghan man reacts suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan
An Afghan man reacts near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan on Feb. 11 2020

The United States and the Taliban are close to an agreement on a temporary reduction in violence in Afghanistan in a move that could lead to all-Afghan negotiations aimed at ending the decades-long conflict.

President Ashraf Ghani called the bombing "a crime against humanity" while repeating his call for a nationwide ceasefire. The United Nations calculates that between 2009, when it first began documenting civilian casualties, and October 2019, a total of 34,677 Afghan civilians have been killed in insurgent attacks and caught in the crossfire in fighting between militants and Afghan security forces and their USA -led coalition allies.

Four foreign nationals were among the wounded.

Tuesday's blast came as Washington and the Taliban wrangle over a possible deal that would see U.S. troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees.

The latest attack comes as USA and Taliban negotiators wrangle over a possible peace deal to end the almost two-decade war.

There appeared to have been little progress in reaching a deal in recent weeks, however, prompting the insurgents to blame the White House and what they said were a growing list of demands.

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