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Sunday May 02 2021

Large fuel truck fire in Kabul kills seven: officials

Men walk amidst wreckages of fuel tankers and trucks after an overnight fire, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan May 2, 2021. — Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

KABUL: 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.

Tariq Arian, the ministry of interior spokesman, said authorities were still investigating how the fire started and did not yet know the cause, but he ruled out a "terrorist incident."

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

The city remains on high alert, with officials bracing for the possibility of violence erupting over the continued presence of foreign troops in the country.

Afghanistan's Chamber of Commerce spokesman Jan Aqa Naweed said that hundreds of containers that held both fuel and foodstuffs worth millions of dollars had been damaged.