At least 36 persons were killed and 42 others wounded when a car packed with explosives struck a minibus carrying government employees in western Kabul in Afghanistan on Monday, officials and witnesses said.

Confirming the terror attack, the official said, “death toll has climbed to 24 while 42 others have been injured in the incident.”

Speaking to the media, ministry spokesman Waheed Majrooh told Associated Press that the rescue operations were underway and the injured were rushed to the nearby hospital for medical assistance.

Reportedly the explosion took place in the area which is home to several prominent political leaders of the country.

“A terrorist driving a saloon car rammed his vehicle into a minibus carrying workers of the Ministry of Mines and Industries in Gola-e-Dawakhana locality, Police District 3, roughly at 6.50 a.m, causing the causalities,” witness Abdul Jalil told Pajhwok news agency.

The bombing happened near the house of Deputy Government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq. Three vehicles and 15 shops were damaged in the attack, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

According to Pajhwok, which cited a Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, white Corolla car was parked near Mohaqiq’s house in the neighbourhood where a minibus came under attack. The victims were all civilians. 

The bus caught fire, and glass panes from nearby buildings were shattered across the road as a result of the car-bomb explosion, which shook the area dominate dby Hazaras, a sub-sect of the Shias.

The police have cordoned the area and search operations have been initiated. The suicide attacker in the early hours on Monday detonated a car bomb. The extent of damage is still to be ascertained. No one has taken responsibility for the suicide attack.

Kabul has been reeling under the terror attacks that have been growing at an alarming rate in last six months. Earlier in June, at least four people were killed and seven others wounded after two suicide bombers struck a mosque in Afghanistan capital Kabul. Those among the injured were three police personnel and four civilians.

(This is a developing story, more reports awaited)

(With inputs from IANS)