Kabul bombing: Scores killed and injured as double blasts rock Afghanistan's capital

People running to help victims of first explosion hurt as second blast goes off

Will Worley
Monday 05 September 2016 19:28
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Aftermath of bomb in Kabul

At least twenty-four people have been killed and 91 injured following two explosions in Kabul.

The blasts took place close to the defence ministry buildings as workers were finishing their shifts on Monday.

People running to help victims of the first explosion in the Afghan capital were hurt as a second blast went off.

"The second explosion was so strong, and many people, including security officials, were killed and wounded," said eyewitness Ashuqullah.

"The first explosion occurred on a bridge near the defence ministry,” Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for the ministry, said to AFP. “When soldiers, policemen and civilians rushed to the scene, there was the second explosion."

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said a district police chief and five other police officers were among those killed.

The casualty toll could rise, according to officials.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it said killed 58 officers and commanders. The militant group have stepped up their campaign against the Western-backed government in recent weeks, following a brief lull after the death of their former leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour,

Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, released a statement condemning the attack: “A number of innocent Afghans were wounded and martyred as a result of one explosion and one suicide attack carried out by the enemies of Afghanistan this afternoon in Kabul city. By carrying out the attacks, they showed once again that they are the enemies of progress and development of our beloved country.

“President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that terrorist groups attempt to reach their ominous goals by spreading fear and carrying out terrorist attacks. He added that the enemies of Afghanistan have lost their ability to fight the security and defence forces of the country and thus attack highways, cities, mosques, schools and common people.

“The president offers his sympathies and condolences to the families of those martyred, wishes quick recovery to those wounded and prays to the Almighty Allah to grant the highest place in paradise to those martyred today.”

The double bombing came less than two weeks after gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul, killing 13 people.

It was the deadliest attack in Kabul since at least 80 people were killed by a suicide bomber who targeted a demonstration on July 23. That assault was claimed by Isis.

Government officials have been preparing for a conference in Brussels next month at which foreign donors, concerned about the ability of the Afghan security forces to withstand Taliban violence, are expected to pledge continuing support over coming years.

Agencies

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