Several rockets struck residential areas in the early hours of rush hour in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, killing at least eight civilians and injuring 31, police officials said.
The explosions, some close to the diplomatic enclave, sent warning sirens blaring from embassies and this comes two days before a major donors’ conference for Afghanistan in Geneva.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said at least eight civilians were killed in the attack and 31 injured. A health ministry official said five bodies and 21 injured were taken to hospital following the incident.
Arian said “terrorists” mounted 14 rockets in a small truck and triggered them, adding that an investigation was underway to find out how the vehicle entered the city.
Some residents filmed the rockets fired and posted them on social media. Several photos circulating on Facebook showed damaged cars, broken windows and holes in residential homes.
A photo of a younger brother and sister, who authorities say were killed in their homes, was shared widely on Facebook.
One of the rockets landed near the Iranian embassy and several fragments hit the main building, but there were no injuries to staff, the embassy said in a statement.
Since peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have stalled in the Qatari capital, Doha, attacks by the Taliban and other extremist groups have increased, especially in the capital which is home to more than five million Afghans.
Taliban insurgents, battling a foreign-backed administration in Kabul, have denied involvement in the attack.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was traveling to Qatar on Saturday to meet with an Afghan delegation and Taliban negotiators.
Earlier this month, several gunmen stormed the Kabul University campus and killed at least 35 students, most of them college students, and injured more than 50.
The attack was claimed by the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).