ISIS Bombing In Kabul Kills 8 Civilians, Injures 3 US Service Members

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A suicide car bomb struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital on May 3, killing eight civilians and wounding three U.S. service members, Reuters reports.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released by its media arm, Amaq News Agency.

The attack occurred during morning rush hour in one of the busiest areas of Kabul. In its statement, the Islamic State said that a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as the convoy passed near the U.S. embassy.

While the blast inflicted only minor damage on the NATO MRAPs, it left scores of civilian vehicles destroyed and badly damaged. Public health officials told Reuters that 25 civilians were also injured in the attack.

The bombing is latest in a string of high-profile suicide attacks in Kabul that have been claimed by the Islamic State, whose local branch is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan and is known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K.

ISIS-K is estimated to number fewer than 1,000 fighters, according to Stars and Stripes. Last month, at least 94 fighters were killed in a single blow when the U.S. Air Force dropped a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.

The U.S. military is determined to eliminate ISIS-K by the end of the year.

“We have a very good chance of destroying them in 2017, making it very clear that when ISIS fighters are destroyed elsewhere around the globe that this is not the place for you to come to plot your attacks,” Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, told Agence France-Presse.

Beleaguered Afghan forces have ceded huge swaths of the country to insurgents since NATO ended combat operations in Afghanistan in late 2014. The U.S. is now considering sending more troops there to bolster the more than 8,000 who are currently on the ground.

“In recent days some have rejected violence and recognized that the only future for Afghanistan is through constructive dialogue and peace,” Ambassador Hugo Llorens, special charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said in a statement.

Llorens added: “The barbarity and depravity of this attack only reminds all Americans of why we are in this fight and strengthens our solidarity with our Afghan allies.”