Explosion rocks Kabul as part of ‘assassination attempt’ against anti-Taliban MP

Prominent anti-Taliban MP Azeem Baghlani was thought to be subject of attack

Kim Sengupta
In Kabul
Tuesday 03 August 2021 19:34
<p>Afghan security personnel work at the site of Tuesday’s powerful explosion in Kabul</p>

Afghan security personnel work at the site of Tuesday’s powerful explosion in Kabul

A car bombing was followed by a prolonged firefight in Kabul with insurgents attacking the home of a parliamentarian in a supposedly secure area in the Afghan capital.

A prominent politician was due to be present in the house when the assault took place in the early evening, according to security sources, who claimed the complex operation was an assassination attempt.

A group of men attempted to burst into the building, reported to be the home of MP Azeem Baghlani, when guards and then security forces opened fire. Six people are said to have been injured in the shooting in the Sherpur district which has a number of government residences as well as the offices of aid agencies.

The politician who was the alleged target of the attack, the son of a late prominent Afghan commander, is organising resistance groups against the Taliban offensive which has seen the Islamists seize swathes of the countryside and then launch assaults on key cities.

Afghan armed forces have launched series of counterattacks in the battles and the US has stepped up airstrikes from other countries, having withdrawn from bases in Afghanistan, which have included the use of B-52 bombers from Diego Garcia.

The Taliban, according to security and diplomatic officials, have threatened to bring the war to Kabul in response to the airstrikes and actions by the security forces in other parts of the country.

Major attacks inside the city recently have been primarily sectarian, with the Hazara Shia community the main victims.

An attack on a girls’ school four months ago killed 85 people, mostly students, and injured 150 others. Gunmen in police uniform had attacked the same area previously, storming a maternity hospital.

Twenty-four people died, 16 of them women, expectant mothers and nurses. Two newborn babies were also among the dead.

The attack in Kabul bookended another day of violence in Afghanistan.

Fierce battles took place between the Taliban militant group and government forces in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southwestern province of Helmand, forcing the army to tell local residents to evacuate.

On Tuesday, the UN said at least 40 civilians had been killed and more than 100 wounded in the previous 24 hours of fighting between Afghan government forces and insurgents.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments