Taliban suicide bombers targeted soldiers in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least seven people and leaving more than 15 injured.
“An Afghan army bus and another car carrying Afghan army personnel were targeted by two suicide bombings,” deputy interior minister General Ayoub Salanghi said in a statement.
Kabul police say the first attack, early Wednesday morning, targeted a bus carrying Afghan National Army personnel. Shortly after, a second bomber detonated an explosive device near a second army bus.
The Taliban, fighting to oust foreign forces and the U.S-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attacks in the east and west of Kabul.
“Double martyrdom attack has rocked #Kabul city this morning amid current year's ongoing #Khaibar operation,” the Taliban said on Twitter, referring to their yearly summer fighting offensive.
In comments to the French News Agency, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were a "clear message" to the Afghan government for its signing of a long-delayed security deal with United States. He said the militant group would increase attacks.
The attack in the west of the city, close to Kabul University, was the more serious of the two. It destroyed the army bus and shattered shop windows. At least seven were killed, the defense ministry said.
“I was walking down the road when a huge explosion occurred. Right after the blast, I saw dust and smoke rising from the area and then I escaped,” said shopkeeper Sanaullah Khan.
On Tuesday, officials from Afghanistan and the United States signed a bilateral security agreement that will allow nearly 10,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel, and another 2,000 NATO forces, to stay after the original December 31 deadline for the international troops to exit.
The pact allows the foreign coalition to continue training Afghan security forces and target al-Qaida operations in the country.
The signing took place on newly-inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani's first day in office.
Material for this report came from Reuters.