Afghanistan’s interior minister says at least 103 people were killed in a suicide bombing carried out by the Taliban in Kabul on Saturday, updating an earlier toll.
Saturday’s attacker made it through one security checkpoint by driving an ambulance and claiming to be taking a patient to a hospital, the Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi told The Associated Press. The explosion damaged or destroyed dozens of shops and vehicles in the heart of the city, near government buildings.
He also called on the global community to “take further action” against “state sponsored terrorism”.
Ordinary Afghans took to social media to express their anguish and sorrow at rapidly worsening security as the Taliban and IS militants step up attacks on Kabul, turning it into one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians. That attack, which set off days of angry protests against the government, was claimed by the Haqqani network, a Taliban faction.
Masoom Stanekzai, head of Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency, said: ‘This is not a civil war, this is a terrorist war imposed on the Afghan people.
The deadly terrorist attack in #Afghanistan should lead Atta Noor and the Unity Government to immediately come together and resolve their differences.
The Afghan government and Afghan National Defense and security forces are working tirelessly to defend all Afghans and respond to these attacks with bravery and professionalism, he said. Six gunmen were killed. “There had been two ambulances involved”, he was quoted as saying.
In keeping with this policy, the US on January 24 unilaterally made a drone attack in Pakistan.
Taliban’s suicide attackers drove an ambulance laden with explosives past a police checkpoint in a secure zone in the center of Kabul on Saturday.
The bomb went off in an area of the city close to foreign embassies and local police headquarters – injuring 191 people.
Security officials said further attacks were likely and security was tightened around potential targets in the city.
“Today’s attack once again demonstrates that the enemies of Afghanistan kill indiscriminately”, Army Gen. John W. Nicholson said in a statement.