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The Latest: Afghan official: Blast kills at least 5, 50 hurt

September 2, 2019
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Wounded men receive treatment in a hospital after a large explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. The Taliban claimed responsibility for a large explosion in the Afghan capital Monday night, which government officials said targeted an area home to several international organizations and guesthouses. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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Wounded men receive treatment in a hospital after a large explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. The Taliban claimed responsibility for a large explosion in the Afghan capital Monday night, which government officials said targeted an area home to several international organizations and guesthouses. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the war in Afghanistan (all times local):

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12:30 a.m.

An Afghan official says at least five civilians are dead and around 50 are wounded after a large blast in the capital, Kabul.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the number of casualties from Monday night’s bombing could grow as the blast destroyed a number of homes.

He said the target was the Green Village compound, which is home to several international organizations and guesthouses.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the explosion, which came just hours after a U.S. envoy announced a deal had been reached “in principle” with the militant group for ending America’s longest war.

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11:30 p.m.

A police official is confirming there are casualties, including civilians, from a large blast that targeted a compound in the Afghan capital that’s home to several international organizations and guesthouses.

Firdaus Faramarz, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, said late Monday that he could not give any exact figures.

Associated Press video shows wounded people streaming into a local hospital.

The police spokesman says the area has been sealed off by security forces and denies reports of any shooting in the area.

The blast comes as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in the capital to brief the Afghan government on his negotiations with the Taliban for ending America’s longest war.

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10:45 p.m.

Afghan officials say a large explosion the capital, Kabul, has targeted the Green Village compound, home to several international organizations and guesthouses.

The blast comes as U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in the capital to brief the Afghan government on his negotiations with the Taliban for ending America’s longest war.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the Green Village was targeted Monday night.

There is no immediate word of casualties.

The Green Village has been a frequent target of attacks. Many foreigners live in the compound, which is heavily guarded by Afghan forces and private security guards.

The area was targeted by a suicide car bomber in January who killed at least four people and wounded scores.

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10:30 p.m.

An Afghan interior ministry spokesman says a large explosion has occurred the capital, Kabul, hours after a U.S. envoy briefed the Afghan president on a deal “in principle” with the Taliban for ending America’s longest war.

Nasrat Rahimi confirmed that Monday night’s blast rocked an area of eastern Kabul where foreigners live and where the United Nations has several offices.

Another interior ministry official told the local TOLO news channel that the blast was caused by a car bomb.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad showed the draft to President Ashraf Ghani after declaring that they are “at the threshold of an agreement” with the Taliban.

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6:45 p.m.

A U.S. envoy says the first 5,000 U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan within five months’ time under a deal with the Taliban that has been reached “in principle” but still needs President Donald Trump’s approval.

Zalmay Khalilzad showed the draft to the Afghan president on Monday after declaring that they are “at the threshold of an agreement” on ending America’s longest war.

Khalilzad has met twice with President Ashraf Ghani after arriving Sunday evening from Qatar, where the ninth round of U.S.-Taliban talks ended.

However, reflecting the sensitivity of the negotiations and the Afghan government’s sidelined role in the talks so far, it was not clear whether Ghani was given the draft to keep.

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9:00 a.m.

An Afghan official says U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met with President Ashraf Ghani in the capital, Kabul, to brief him on the latest round of talks with the Taliban on ending America’s longest war.

Ghani spokesman Sediq Sediqqi confirms that the meeting took place Sunday night at the presidential palace shortly after Khalilzad arrived from Qatar, where the ninth round of talks ended without a final deal.

Sediqqi on Monday said the palace soon will release details of the meeting.

Khalilzad over the weekend said the U.S. and the militant group are “at the threshold of an agreement” even as the Taliban attacked the capitals of Kunduz and Baghlan provinces in the north.

Intra-Afghan talks that include the Afghan government are meant to follow a U.S.-Taliban agreement.

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