Afghanistan mourns more than 100 people recently killed in a Taliban suicide car bombing. The tragedy took place yesterday near a police checkpoint in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
At the moment, there are 103 victims confirmed. Another 235 people are wounded. It all happened when a bomb exploded in a car, according to the interior ministry of the country. This attack comes a week after another attack in a luxury hotel of Kabul that was also claimed by the Taliban. 22 people died during last week’s attack.
“People were running everywhere to escape, there were wounded people lying on the ground, people with wounds to their arms, legs, heads,” said shopkeeper Mohammad Hanif, who was in his shop near the site where the attack took place. “How are we to live? Where should we go?” asked Hanif.
The worst attack in months
The terrorist responsible for the attack passed through one security checkpoint by driving an ambulance and claiming he was taking a patient to a hospital. According to the Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi, the attacker detonated the explosives at the second checkpoint near government buildings and embassies. The Taliban assured they were responsible for the attack and said it was intended to kill the country’s interior ministry.
It has become the worst terrorist attack in the city in months killing 103 people and hurting more than 200. As well, it is important to highlight that it took place in one of the most densely protected areas of the city. There hadn’t been such a terrible attack in Kabul since the one when a truck bomb killed 150 people near the German embassy in May last year.
People are worried and angry the attacks are getting recurrent. Last week, another attack occurred in a major hotel in the city. There is pressure on President Ashraf Ghani to improve security. Some criticized that he should try to set aside political division and confrontation and focus on the powerbrokers who are defying the central government.
Interior Minister Wais Barmak said at least two vehicles painted as ambulances were involved in the attack. One of them blew up. Apparently, they passed the checkpoints with no difficulty. Security officials have warned people of possible attacks.
“People don’t have work. There’s no life for people in Afghanistan. People have to look for a life somewhere else, there’s nowhere,” claimed shopkeeper Sameem.
The Taliban are trying to send a warning to Mr. Donald Trump
According to the Taliban, all of their latest attacks are intended as a warning to President Donald Trump, because he sent more troops from the United States to Afghanistan to assist the Afghan forces and also because Trump ordered more air strikes.
“The Islamic Emirate has a clear message for Trump and his hand kissers that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don’t expect Afghans to grow flowers in response,” assured Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, using Islamic Emirates which is the term they use to describe themselves.
Former U.S ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said Ghani’s government and his main political rival, Atta Mohammad Noor, should resolve their differences because fighting terrorism and protecting the citizens is the primary task for them.
The United States also accused Pakistan of helping the Taliban and cut off some help from them. Pakistan rejected those accusations and called for “concerted efforts and effective cooperation” to fight terrorism.
Reactions to the attack
The attack was condemned by the head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, who call the attack an atrocity. He also rejected the comments of countries and allies who expressed that the new U.S strategy was producing results. U.S ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley expressed that the plan was paying off and that it was pushing insurgents to negotiate the peace.
However, recent events don’t appear to back Haley’s statements. The Taliban haven’t shown signs of getting weaker, and it has said that they would only agree to the peace talks if all the international forces leave the country.
“This is not a civil war, this is a terrorist war imposed on the Afghan people,” expressed Masoom Stanekzai, who is the head of Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency. “This is a war in which the Afghan people are being used as tools and burned like firewood every day.”
The Taliban are the hardline Islamic Taliban movement that got to power in 1996 after the civil war that followed the Soviet-Afghan war. They imposed a brutal version of the Sharia law, banning women from public life. They were expelled by the U.S led invasion but have returned, and now they rule specific areas.