Large fuel truck fire in Kabul kills seven - officials

The cause of ignition not immediately known, the fires come as the city remains on "high alert"


Reuters May 02, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL:

Gasoline tanker trucks burst into flames in Kabul overnight, killing at least seven people and starting large fires that caused power cuts to some parts of the Afghan capital, officials said on Sunday.

The tankers were parked in northern Kabul and burst into flames late on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Interior. Fourteen people were injured.

The cause of ignition was not immediately known but the fires come as the city remains on "high alert" with officials bracing for attacks from the insurgent Taliban over the foreign troops' continued presence in the country.

Read: Kabul on high alert amid 'deadline' for US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Two security sources had earlier told Reuters they believed it was caused by a Taliban rocket fired in the area, however, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid has said they were not involved.

Tariq Arian, the ministry of interior spokesperson, said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.

The Taliban have said U.S. President Joe Biden's announcement last month that American troops would leave by Sept. 11 violates a 2020 agreement under the Trump administration that offered a May 1 withdrawal deadline.

Separately on Saturday, shooting near a major airfield in Kandahar prompted the commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan to warn that attacks on foreign troops would be a mistake and that they were prepared to defend themselves and Afghan forces if needed.

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