Officials: Blast in Afghan Capital Kills 1, Wounds Dozens

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An explosion in the center of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday killed one person and wounded at least 59 others, hospital officials said.

In a tweet, Kabul's Emergency Hospital said one body was received at the hospital and 59 people were treated, with 30 of the wounded being admitted for further treatment. It did not specify the injuries.

A spokesman for the Taliban's Kabul police, Khalid Zadran, said the explosion was caused by a hand grenade thrown by a would-be thief who wanted to rob the money changers in the area. He said 10 people were injured. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the number of wounded.

Zadran said police have launched an investigation.

Video shot by AP showed wounded being removed from the site, carried by passersby.

Wais Ahmad, a money changer, said the explosion happened inside a market where money changers operate. The market was closed immediately after the explosion and Taliban security surrounded the area..

The blast was the first in the Afghan capital in months. Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have stepped up security throughout most of the country since sweeping to power in August.

Taliban troops man dozens of checkpoints throughout the city.

The greatest threat facing the Taliban comes from the Islamic State group affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or IS-K. The Taliban have cracked down on the affiliate in its stronghold in eastern Afghanistan.

In a statement, IS-K said late Saturday they targeted a Taliban vehicle in Kabul, killing everyone inside the vehicle. However, there was no confirmation from the Taliban rulers or signs of an explosion on Saturday.

The IS statement also claimed an explosion in western Herat province targeting the country's minority Shiite Muslims. There was no confirmation of any explosion in Herat and the IS often makes exaggerated claims.