Suicide bomber blew himself up outside a bank in the Afghan capital Kabul Tuesday, days ahead of the Eid holiday, killing five people and injuring several others in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks to hit the city and comes three months after a massive truck bomb ripped through the same area, killing about 150 people.
The bomb went off outside the Kabul Bank, which usually pays the salaries of security forces personnel and government employees.
“The latest report shows five, including a guard, were killed and eight civilians were wounded in today’s terrorist attack,” said interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish.
The Taliban later claimed responsibility on social media for the bombing.
The blast happened Tuesday morning at a time when many officials were expected to be collecting their salaries ahead of this week’s Eid al-Adha holiday.
It shattered the bank’s exterior, mangling metal beams and covering the street outside with shattered glass and splattered blood.
“I was driving when I heard a big boom. The blast was so strong that it broke the windows of my car. I saw people shouting and crying near the bank,” a witness told AFP.
The blast occurred on a street lined with shops and banks leading to Massoud Square, near the United States embassy and Kabul’s diplomatic area.
Taliban insurgents are currently at the peak of their summer fighting season, and have launched several deadly assaults around the country in recent weeks.
The blast resembled a Taliban attack in June during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, when a car bomb targeted civilians and government employees queueing outside a Kabul Bank branch to collect their salaries in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province.
That blast killed 29 people and wounded over 60.
Since NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, Afghan troops and police have struggled to beat back the resurgent Taliban, while facing the growing threat of the Islamic State group.