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13 civilians killed in Afghan air strike on Taliban base

At least 13 civilians, including women and children, have been killed in an air strike by Afghan security forces targeting the Taliban in western Herat province, officials said.

Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attack in Shindand district also injured seven other civilians, while 16 Taliban militants were killed

It came as a suicide bomber killed at least five people in a busy commercial area of central Kabul, not far from the US embassy.

Mr Farhad said Monday night's air strike targeted a Taliban base and a prison run by the insurgents. The jail was destroyed and 19 inmates - military and civilian - escaped.

He added that the civilians who were killed died in their homes near the Taliban base.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in the capital.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a suicide bomber targeted military personnel who had gathered on Tuesday at Kabul Bank to collect their salaries ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Mohammad Salim Rasouli, chief of Kabul hospitals at the Health Ministry, confirmed that nine other people were injured in the attack, according to reports.

AP

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