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Spanish police officer hurt in central Kabul car bomb attack

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Kabul: A car bomb explosion that was claimed by the Taliban hit a diplomatic area of central Kabul on Friday, wounding a Spanish police officer.

Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi said the car bomb struck near a foreign guesthouse in Shir Pur, an area with embassies and other diplomatic buildings seen as one of the safer parts of the Afghan capital.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters tonight that the attack happened near the Spanish Embassy but that the embassy was not the target of the attack.

One Spanish police officer was hurt and taken for treatment at a hospital but did not suffer serious injuries, Rajoy said.

Salangi said one person was wounded but it was not clear if he was referring to the Spanish police officer, or if there was another victim.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the massive explosion that shook buildings in the area today, with spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid saying it was carried out by a suicide bomber.

The explosion left two houses in flames, said Habibullha, a police official who like many Afghans goes by one name. “It’s possible the attackers are hiding. We’ve blocked all the streets and are searching,” he said.

Shir Pur resident Mohammad Zaman said the explosion, which sent a giant cloud of smoke into the sky, was so powerful it broke his glasses.