Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up at a bank in the center of Kabul, killing at least five people and wounding eight others.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the bomber hit the entrance to a Kabul Bank branch on August 29, about 500 meters from the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy compound.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had targeted security-forces personnel withdrawing their salaries.
Attacks on banks where soldiers and police withdraw their salaries have become a regular tactic of the extremist group.
The latest attack comes ahead of this week’s Eid al-Adha celebrations closing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and a week after President Donald Trump outlined the new U.S. strategy for the war-torn country.
Kabul has seen an increase in attacks lately. On August 25, 28 people — including women and children — were reported killed and more than 50 others wounded in an attack on a Shi’ite mosque in Kabul claimed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
In another development, reports from the western province of Herat said that an Afghan Air Force air strike targeting Taliban militants left at least 13 civilians dead and seven others injured.
Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said at least 16 Taliban fighters were also killed the overnight air strike targeting a command center and a prison run by the militants in Shindand district.
A member of Herat’s provincial council, Haji Toryalai Taheri, spoke of 20 civilian deaths and no Taliban victims.
Farhad said 19 prisoners, both military and civilians, managed to escape after the strike.
The civilians who were killed died in their houses nearby, he added.
The spokesman also said that a fact-finding team had been sent to the area.
The Taliban has not commented on the attack.
According to the UN, the number of air strikes has increased by 43 percent in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same time in 2016. At least 232 civilians were killed and injured in that same period.