In Afghanistan, at least eight people died Tuesday when a car bomb exploded in a heavily secured area of Kabul outside the villa of Afghanistan’s defense minister, who was not home at the time. The BBC reports it was the first major bombing in Kabul in over a year. It comes as Taliban fighters are attempting to seize three provincial capitals: Kandahar, Herat and Lashkar Gah. The United Nations reports at least 40 civilians have been killed in Lashkar Gah and 118 wounded over the past day. According to the Associated Press, the Taliban now controls nine of the 10 districts in Lashkar Gah despite repeated U.S. airstrikes to slow their advance. The Afghan Army has urged civilians to leave the city before the Army launches a major counterattack against the Taliban. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has accused the Taliban of summarily executing soldiers, police and civilians who have been detained during its recent offensive ahead of the U.S. military withdrawal, which is scheduled to conclude by the end of the month.