At least seven dead following fuel tanker fire in Afghanistan

Gasoline tanker trucks burst into flames in Kabul overnight, killing at least seven people and starting large fires that caused power cuts to some parts of the Afghan capital, officials said on Sunday.

The tankers were parked in northern Kabul and burst into flames late on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Interior. Fourteen people were injured.

The cause of ignition was not immediately known but the fires come as the city remains on “high alert” with officials bracing for attacks from the insurgent Taliban over the foreign troops’ continued presence in the country.

Two security sources had earlier said they believed it was caused by a Taliban rocket fired in the area, however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said they were not involved.

Tariq Arian, the ministry of interior spokesman, said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.

The Taliban have said U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement last month that American troops would leave by September 11 violates a 2020 agreement under the Trump administration that offered a May 1 withdrawal deadline.

Separately on Saturday, shooting near a major airfield in Kandahar prompted the commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan to warn that attacks on foreign troops would be a mistake and that they were prepared to defend themselves and Afghan forces if needed.

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