Suicide Car Bomb in Kabul Kills 17, Wounds 110
A suicide car bomb Saturday ripped through a crowded area outside a government building in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 100 others.
Thick, dark smoke could be seen rising into the sky from the central part of the capital following the explosion near the old Afghan Interior Ministry building, witnesses said.
An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, confirmed the casualties to VOA, saying the bomber used an explosives-filled ambulance to carry out the attack in an area where civilians had gathered in large number.
Unconfirmed reports, however, said the death toll is much higher than what Afghan officials reported.
The Taliban instantly took responsibility for plotting the attack. A spokesman for the insurgent group said the target was a crowd of personnel of the Afghan security force.
The deadly bombing came a week after five heavily armed Taliban suicide bombers stormed Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel in a highly secured part of the city. The raid killed at least 22 people, including 14 foreigners. At least four Americans were among the dead.
Joint Research Projects Help China Consolidate Power At Sea
An increase in Sino-foreign joint maritime research, particularly in the disputed South China Sea, is helping China improve its regional reputation by contributing to the health and utility of international waterways, analysts say.
China helped Malaysia with atmospheric studies on the high seas last year, among other marine science projects, reports from Malaysia say.
This month and next China will work with the Philippines on exploring an underwater plateau, and Beijing's official Xinhua News Agency said a vessel of Chinese scientists had reached port in Myanmar January 17 for joint oceanographic research.
Analysts say these cases, and others, let China and its partners find valuable marine resources while casting Beijing as a trustworthy steward of shared oceans in Asia.
Since a world arbitration court ruled against the scope of China's claim in mid-2016, Beijing has improved economic ties with other claimants to put the legal dispute behind them.