Another Day, Another Bomb in Kabul

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2017

Germany does not yet know whether its embassy in Afghanistan was the target of an attack near the building in Kabul which killed at least 80 people on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement that an Afghan security officer working at the embassy was killed.

The official was not authorized to speak to the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A suicide attacker struck the fortified heart of the Afghan capital with a massive truck bomb Wednesday, killing 90 people, wounding 400 and raising new fears about the government's ability to protect its citizens almost 16 years into a war with insurgents.

Neighboring Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the bomb damaged residences of some of its diplomats and staff and caused some minor injuries.

"It is with great sadness that the BBC can confirm the death of BBC Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir following the vehicle bomb in Kabul earlier today, as he was driving journalist colleagues to the office", the broadcaster said in a statement. The Islamic State claimed responsibility, Afghan broadcaster 1 TV reported. He said the bomb had detonated "in the immediate vicinity" of the German embassy. Western embassies and the presidential palace are located there.

The U.S Embassy and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Kabul are also near, about a kilometer (half mile) away from the site.

Afghanistan has been suffering from a surge of attacks from the Taliban movement since it declared a new spring offensive, including spectacular attacks on the once secure capital. "But the security situation is being stabilized by the ever-growing capability of the Afghan police force and the Afghan National Army".

"Let's be clear: This is an intelligence failure, as has been the case with so many other attacks in Kabul and beyond".

Meanwhile, reporting from Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, in Kabl's PD10, TOLOnews' Anisa Shaheed said numerous blast victims were taken to the hospital including 50 bodies.

The blast hit when everyone was going to work, and occurred on the first few days of the holy month of Ramadan, which started Friday. "We want peace but those who kill us in the holy month of Ramadan aren't worth a call for peace".

Just hours after Germany's foreign minister announced all of its embassy staffers were safe, the country's interior minister confirmed that it would only briefly suspend its policy of deporting rejected Afghan asylum seekers to Kabul out of "respect for its Embassy staff". The terrorists, and those who provide them support in any form, deserve the utter scorn of all civilized people around the world.

It "targets all of us - whether in Manchester or Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, St. Petersburg or today in Kabul", she said in the southern German city of Nuremberg.

August 7, 2015 - A series of attacks kill at least 44 people and wound over 300 in one day in Kabul. All staff were safe, he said, though the blast left "considerable damage", including shattered windows. "I've never seen such a powerful explosion in my life", he said.

Shortly after the explosion, all roads in Wazir Akbar Khan were blocked off by Afghan security forces and helicopters were deployed over the neighborhood.

September 14, 2015- More than 350 inmates escape after an attack by Taliban insurgents on the main prison in eastern Ghazni province.

The United States now has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations. In the past year, they have largely concentrated on thwarting a surge of attacks by the Taliban, who have captured key districts, such as Helmand province, which US and British troops had fought bitterly to return to the government.

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