At least 7 dead, 53 wounded in Afghan car bomb attack

A powerful car bomb exploded near a police station in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Friday.

It killed at least seven people and wounded more than 50 others according to officials.

Herat Governor Sayed Abdul Wahid Qatali said several women and children were among the dead.

He added that at least 53 people, including civilians and security forces, were hurt when a van packed with explosives went off in a crowded part of the city.

Dozens of homes and shops were also damaged in the blast.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing but local officials blamed Taliban insurgents.

The Taliban has been fighting the foreign-backed Afghan government since they were ousted from power by U.S.-led forces in late 2001

Their representatives were not immediately available to comment.

Peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar’s capital Doha have struggled to make progress amid international calls to reduce violence.

A report by the UN mission in Afghanistan released last month said there were 8,820 civilian casualties in 2020 alone.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the quote "alarming number of attacks deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan."