Blast rocks Kabul diplomatic area

Explosion near presidential palace injures one person, a day before inauguration of Afghan president-elect Ashraf Ghani.

    The bomb went off during morning rush hour in an area that houses several embassies [Reuters]
    The bomb went off during morning rush hour in an area that houses several embassies [Reuters]

    An explosion has injured at least one person in the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital, a day before the inauguration of a new president.

    The blast, in a square outside the gate of the presidential palace in Kabul, was caused by a magnetic bomb attached to a military vehicle.

    It went off during the morning rush hour on Sunday, snarling traffic in the area that also houses several embassies.

    "At 9.15am this morning, a sticky bomb attached to an Afghan army vehicle exploded in Zanbaq Square ... only injuring the driver," Najib Danish, Interior Ministry deputy spokesman, told Reuters.

    Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said security was very tight in the capital as dignitaries were set to arrive for Monday's inauguration of Ashraf Ghani.

    The former finance minister was declared president after a bitter dispute with his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, over election results.

    Ghani will replace long-time leader Hamid Karzai just before most foreign troops withdraw from the violence-racked country.

    Monday's inauguration will also see Abdullah named chief executive, a post similar to prime minister.

    Ghani and Abdullah agreed to share power in a unity government last week.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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