Bomb kills dozens

Tal­iban sui­cide at­tack in Kabul tar­gets Shi­ite area

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

KABUL — A Tal­iban sui­cide at­tacker det­o­nated a car bomb in the west­ern part of Kabul on Mon­day, killing at least 35 peo­ple and wound­ing more than 40, and the death toll could rise, a se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cial said.

Po­lice cor­doned off the area, lo­cated near the house of the deputy govern­ment Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Mo­ham­mad Mo­haqiq in a part of the city where many of the mainly Shi­ite Hazara com­mu­nity live.

The Tal­iban, which is bat­tling the West­ern-backed govern­ment and a NATO-led coali­tion for con­trol of Afghanistan, has launched a wave of at­tacks around the coun­try in re­cent days, spark­ing fight­ing in more than half a dozen prov­inces.

“I was in my shop when sud­denly I heard a ter­ri­ble sound and as a re­sult all of my shop win­dows shat­tered,” said Ali Ahmed, a res­i­dent in the area of the blast.

Tal­iban spokesman Zabi­hul­lah Mu­jahid claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack on be­half of the group.

Mu­jahid said the tar­get of the at­tack had been two buses that had been un­der sur­veil­lance for two months.

Govern­ment se­cu­rity forces said a small bus owned by the Min­istry of Mines had been de­stroyed in the blast.

Three civil­ian ve­hi­cles and 15 shops were de­stroyed or dam­aged in the blast.

Painful mem­o­ries

At least 1,662 civil­ians were killed in Afghanistan in the first half of the year.

Kabul has ac­counted for at least 20 per­cent of all civil­ian ca­su­al­ties this year, in­clud­ing at least 150 peo­ple killed in a mas­sive truck bomb at­tack at the end of May, ac­cord­ing to United Na­tions fig­ures.

On Sun­day, dozens of Afghan troops were un­der siege af­ter Tal­iban fight­ers over­ran a dis­trict in north­ern Faryab prov­ince, a spokesman for the pro­vin­cial po­lice said.

There was also fight­ing in Bagh­lan, Badakhshan, and Kun­duz prov­inces in Afghanistan’s north, and Kan­da­har, Hel­mand, and Uruz­gan in the south, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

The resur­gence of vi­o­lence also co­in­cides with the US ad­min­is­tra­tion weigh­ing up its strate­gic op­tions for Afghanistan, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of send­ing more troops to bol­ster the train­ing and ad­vi­sory mis­sion al­ready help­ing Afghan forces.

OMAR SOBHANI / REUTERS

In­ves­ti­ga­tors work at the site of a sui­cide at­tack in Kabul on Mon­day.

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