Monday 23 July 2018

Death toll from Kabul ambulance bomb passes 100

Afghan men carry the coffin of one of the victims of yesterday's car bomb attack in Kabul Photo: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan men carry the coffin of one of the victims of yesterday's car bomb attack in Kabul Photo: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Akram Walizada

Kabul was in despair yesterday, a day after a Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 100 people and wounded at least 235 in the worst attack in the Afghan capital in months.

A week ago, the Taliban killed more than 20 people in a siege of the city's Intercontinental Hotel.

Another six people were killed in an assault claimed by Isil on the office of aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Despite pressure on President Ashraf Ghani's Western-backed government to improve security, the attacks show no sign of abating, giving rise to helpless anger among residents.

"How are we to live? Where should we go?" asked shopkeeper Mohammad Hanif, who was in his shop near the site of the explosion when it went off.

Interior Minister Wais Barmak said the casualty toll had risen to at least 103 dead and 235 wounded.

He said that at least two vehicles painted as ambulances were involved in the attack, one of which blew up when it was stopped at a police checkpoint.

Security officials have warned of possible further attacks.

The Taliban said the attack was intended as a message to US President Donald Trump who last year sent more American troops to Afghanistan and ordered an increase in air strikes and other assistance to Afghan forces.

"The Islamic Emirate has a clear message for Trump and his hand kissers that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don't expect Afghans to grow flowers in response," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

The attack in one of the most heavily protected parts of the city was the worst in the Afghan capital since a truck bomb killed 150 people in May.

Irish Independent

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