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Afghan police stand guard at site of blast in Kabul on December 28, 2017


Last Updated Dec 28, 2017 3:44 AM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 40 people were killed and 30 wounded in three back-to-back explosions in the western part of the Afghan capital of Kabul Thursday, Afghan authorities said.

The incident happened around 10:30 am local time, when a suicide bomber targeted a cultural and media center. Two other explosions quickly followed the initial attack, each caused by magnetic bombs attached to the walls of the center, Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, said. 

The center is owned by a Shia man, CBS News’ Ahmad Mukhtar reports, and most of the victims were Shia.

The site of the attack was a building shared by Tebyan Cultural Center, and pro-Iranian cultural center, and the news agency Ava Media.

“This gruesome attack underscores the dangers faced by Afghan civilians,” Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik, said in a statement.

“In one of the deadliest years on record, journalists and other civilians continue to be ruthlessly targeted by armed groups. With the Afghan capital hit once again, no one can credibly claim that Kabul safe. The European governments who insist on this dangerous fiction by forcibly returning Afghans are putting their lives in danger,” Patnaik continued.    

In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied any involvement in the attack.

Separately, Dawlat Abad District Gov. Mohammad Karim said a powerful mine killed six shepherd children ranging in age from 8 to 10 on Wednesday.

No one immediately took responsibility for that attack, but Karim blamed the Taliban, saying the insurgents planted the mine to target Afghan officials and security forces.

Afghanistan has the highest number of mine victims in the world, which along with other roadside bombs, kill or wound an estimated 140 people every month.

Elsewhere, a Taliban attack on a security police post in central Ghazni province Wednesday night left three police dead and one other wounded, said Mohammad Zaman, provincial chief of police.

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