Powerful explosion in upscale neighborhood of Afghan capital

Explosion rocks Kabul

A powerful explosion rocked an upscale neighborhood of the Afghan capital Tuesday that is home to several senior government officials, including the defense minister.

There were no immediate reports of casualties but several smaller explosions could also be heard as well as small arms fire.

Interior Ministry Mirwais Stanikzai said the explosion happened in the posh Sherpur neighborhood, which is in a deeply secure section of the capital known as the green zone. It was the first explosion in the capital in some time.

No one took immediate responsibility but it came as Taliban insurgents have been pressing ahead with an offensive that is putting pressure on the provincial capitals in the south and west of the country.

The Islamic Sate group has claimed some recent attacks in Kabul but most have gone unclaimed, with the government blaming the Taliban and the Taliban blaming the government.

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