Attack targeting acting Afghan defense minister left 8 dead

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Authorities say a bombing attack that targeted Afghanistan’s acting defense minister has killed at least eight people and wounded 20. The deputy minister was not hurt in the attack claimed Wednesday by Taliban insurgents.

The blast went off late Tuesday in a heavily guarded upscale neighborhood of the capital of Kabul. It was followed by a gun battle that also left four militants dead, authorities said. Officials say the casualty toll could rise.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack. It came as the insurgent group presses ahead with an offensive that is putting pressure on provincial capitals in the south and west.