British security company G4S could may have been the target of a suicide bomb attack, according to police in Afghanistan.
At least 10 people and wounding 19 others when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives and fighters engaged security forces in a gun battle in a the co-ordinated attack in the eastern part of the capital Kabul.
The attack came hours after provincial officials said at least 30 civilians were killed along with 16 Taliban fighters during an overnight battle between Afghan government forces and insurgents in southern Helmand province.
Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the Kabul attack took place when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives and then other insurgents started a gun battle with security forces in the area.
Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said the target of the attack was G4S.
Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Twitter.
The explosion comes after at least 30 civilians were killed, along with 16 Taliban fighters, by government forces battling the insurgents in Helmand province overnight.
Attahullah Afghan, who heads the provincial council, said most of the casualties in Helmand, which included men, women and children, happened in an airstrike that hit a house on Tuesday night during military operations in the province, a Taliban heartland.
A statement from the governor’s office in Helmand confirmed that 16 Taliban insurgents were killed and said that an investigation was under way to determine the number of civilian casualties.
It said the militants had stockpiled ammunition in the area of the operation, which could have caused civilian casualties. There was also a car packed with explosives that ignited during the strike, the statement added.
Abdul Wadod Popul, a politician from Helmand, also confirmed the civilian casualties.
“The area is under Taliban control and it is very difficult to get a precise number of casualties,” he said in Kabul.
The Helmand fighting came as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was in Geneva, attending a two-day UN-backed conference which was focusing on development, peace and security in the war-battered country.
Also on Wednesday in Kabul, the home of former intelligence chief Amarullah Saleh was attacked by three insurgents but was quickly repelled by Saleh’s security guards, said Rahmatullah Nabil, also a former intelligence chief in a tweet.