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At least 8 dead after residential districts in Kabul hit in mortar attack

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Afghan security checks a car destroyed in a rocket attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,Saturday, November 21, 2020.
Afghan security checks a car destroyed in a rocket attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,Saturday, November 21, 2020.   -   Copyright  Mariam Zuhaib/Associated Press
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About 23 mortars slammed into different parts of the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least eight people and wounding 31 others.

A spokesman from the Interior Ministry said the shells were fired from two cars.

The terrorists appear to have been targeting residential areas including the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, which houses diplomatic missions.

The Taliban were quick to deny any involvement in the attack.

Groups affiliated with Islamic State also operate in Kabul and claimed they were behind recent incidents including two attacks on educational institutions that killed more than fifty people.

As well as insurgent groups, there are several heavily armed warlords with militias living in Kabul with long-standing animosities against each other.

The mortar barrage comes as representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban continued to hold talks in Qatar, though progress has been slow.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to press for a reduction in violence in his meetings with both Taliban and government negotiating teams later on Saturday during a daylong stop in Doha.

The Taliban have mostly ignored such previous requests.

Hours before the attack rattled Kabul, a bomb attached to a car killed one security personnel and wounded three others in an eastern neighborhood of the capital, said Kabul police spokesperson Ferdaws Faramarz.