Taliban claim bomb attack on police in Afghanistan; nearly 100 wounded - UPDATED

  07 August 2019    Read: 2234
Taliban claim bomb attack on police in Afghanistan; nearly 100 wounded - UPDATED

A car bomb exploded on Wednesday outside a police station in the Afghan capital, Kabul, wounding at least 95 people, government officials said, and the Taliban claimed responsibility, AzVision.az reported citing Reuters. 

There has been no let-up in violence in Afghanistan even though the Taliban and the United States appear close to a historic pact for U.S. troops to withdraw in exchange for a Taliban promise the country would not be used as a base from which to plot attacks by extremists.

The blast, in the west of the city during the morning rush hour, sent a huge cloud of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

The Taliban said a “recruitment centre” had been attacked by one of their suicide bombers.

“A large number of soldiers and police were killed or wounded,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The bomb went off when a vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint outside the police station, said interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi.

A health ministry spokesman said 95 wounded people had been taken to hospitals. Most of them were civilians, including women and children, he said.

Separately, security forces conducted raids in several parts of Kabul overnight and destroyed a major militant hideout, the main security service said.

***

At least 34 people were wounded when a large explosion rocked Kabul on Wednesday morning, sending a massive plume of smoke over the capital and shattering windows far from the blast site, officials and witnesses said, AzVision.az reported citing AFP. 

Violence is surging across Afghanistan and in Kabul as the US and the Taliban negotiate a peace deal ahead of elections planned for September 28.

The blast occurred around 9:00 am (0430 GMT) in western Kabul, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

Health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said at least 34 people had been taken to hospital.

"I heard a big bang and all the windows of my shop broke with glass flying everywhere," shopkeeper Ahmad Saleh told AFP.

"My head is spinning and still I don't know what has happened but the windows of about 20 shops around one kilometre from the blast site are broken."

According to video on social media and witnesses, small-arms fire could be heard following the blast.

A common insurgent tactic is to use a suicide bomber to hit a target and then follow up with gunmen storming the area.

According to the UN, more than 1,500 civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict in July alone, the highest monthly toll so far this year and the worst single month since May 2017.

Overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, Afghan commandos stormed a safe house for Islamic State fighters, officials said. Details of that operation were still emerging.

At least five people were killed and seven wounded in Kabul on Tuesday when a vehicle carrying workers from the counter-narcotics directorate was bombed, the interior ministry said.


More about: Afghanistan   Kabul