TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on an international NGO in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday.

– World news –

The Taliban attack on the offices of an international NGO in Kabul set off a huge explosion in an assault that wounded at least nine people, officials said.

Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, said the target of the attack was Counterpart International, an international organisation headquartered in the US that is operating in Afghanistan since 2005, Al Jazeera reported.

The organisation’s office building is located near the attorney general’s office in Shahr-e-Naw area in the centre of Kabul city.

A health ministry spokesperson, Wahidullah Mayar, said nine wounded people had been taken to hospital.

It was not immediately clear if any foreigners were among the casualties. A large plume of smoke rose from the area and the sound of sporadic gunfire could be heard.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group attacked the organisation because it was involved in “harmful Western activities” inside Afghanistan, without elaborating.

The blast comes just over two weeks after armed men targeted the communications ministry in central Kabul, killing at least seven people. It was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) terrorist group.

Representatives of the United States and the Taliban continue negotiations in Qatar aimed at bringing an end to the nearly 18-year-long conflict.

The talks follow a peace summit in Kabul last week where President Ashraf Ghani offered a ceasefire from the first day of Ramadan, which was refused by the Taliban.

Last year, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire at the end of Ramadan after Ghani declared a unilateral truce for eight days earlier in the month.

It was first formal nationwide ceasefire since the US-led invasion of 2001 and saw unprecedented scenes of reconciliation and jubilation across the country.