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KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll from Tuesday’s attack on an Afghan intelligence agency office in Kabul rose to 64 Wednesday afternoon, with 347 others injured, government officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the complex attack, which included a massive car bomb that exploded during morning rush hour and shook buildings throughout the capital. It came a week after the extremist group announced a new spring offensive and threatened large-scale attacks against government facilities to drive the U.S.-backed government from power.

Most of the wounded suffered only minor injuries and were sent home after treatment, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Officials said insurgents detonated a minitruck full of explosives in a car park near the intelligence office. Afterward, two gunmen stormed the building, where they exchanged fire with security officials.

It was one of the deadliest attacks in Kabul for years.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the violence would deepen Washington’s support for the military mission in Afghanistan, for the government of President Ashraf Ghani, and for the peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan and China have been seeking to organize.

“It doesn’t mean that the effort to try to get it restarted is dead or that President Ghani should just give up and quite trying,” Kirby said of the peace process.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

wellman.phillip@stripes.com Twitter: @PhillipWellman

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Phillip is a reporter and photographer for Stars and Stripes, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From 2016 to 2021, he covered the war in Afghanistan from Stripes’ Kabul bureau. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.
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