February 7, 2017 / 11:04 PM / 3 years ago

Mattis offers condolences after blast outside Afghan Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday by telephone, offering his condolences after at least 20 people were killed in a bomb blast outside the Supreme Court in the center of the Afghan capital, a Pentagon statement said.

“In light of the recent attacks, including today’s attack against the Afghan Supreme Court, Secretary Mattis offered his condolences for the sacrifices of the Afghan people and commended President Ghani’s unwavering commitment in the face of the enemy,” Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, in which police said an apparent suicide bomber targeted Supreme Court employees leaving their offices at the end of the working day.

The statement added that Ghani “highlighted the importance of a sustained U.S.- Afghan relationship for the security of Afghanistan and the region.”

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by James Dalgleish

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