BREAKING : Suicide car bomb hits Afghanistan’s Kabul

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At least 24 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded after a suicide car bomb targeted Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, officials have said.

The target of Monday’s attack was a bus carrying staff of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, intelligence officials told Al Jazeera.

Najib Danish, an acting Interior Ministry spokesman added that the casualty toll could rise.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.

The attack came just before 7am local time (02:30 GMT) and took place close to the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqi.

The Hazaras are one of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic minorities, accounting for up to 20 percent of Afghanistan’s 30 million inhabitants.

Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said the Hazara community had called a demonstration for Monday to commemorate a suicide bombing that killed 84 in the same area on July 23 last year.

The demonstration was postponed because of security risks.

“Security has been very tight in Kabul,” she said.

“This morning, new barrier gates went up that limit the height of trucks coming in to the city.”

Hazara Shia Muslims are often the target of sectarian violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The latest suicide bombing adds to the unrelenting violence in Afghanistan, where at least 1,662 civilians were killed in the first half of the year.

It came two weeks after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed an attack on a mosque in the capital that killed at least four people.

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Kabul has accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year, including at least 150 people killed in a massive truck bomb attack at the end of May, according to UN figures.

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