By: The Kabul Times
“Such attacks show the utter disregard of terrorists for life and peace.,” Dr. Abdullah
KABUL: At least 12 people have been killed, including a U.S. and a Romanian soldier and dozens more injured when a car bomb struck a checkpoint on September 5 in a neighborhood of Kabul that houses the embassies, government buildings, including The Kabul Times office and local NATO headquarters.
The Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the late-morning attack.
It is the second major Taliban attack in the capital in a single week as U.S. and Taliban officials are said to be in an intense final phase of efforts toward a peace deal to end their 18-year conflict. The Taliban, which is pressing for the departure of U.S. and other international troops in the negotiations, claimed that foreigners were among the dead in the September 5 attack in Kabul.
Reports said the checkpoint that was targeted was near the headquarters of NATO’s Resolute Support mission. NATO said in a statement later in the day that two members of that mission, a Romanian and an American, “were killed in action in Kabul.”
Romanian authorities have confirmed that a Romanian soldier on “a mixed patrol mission” was among the dead and another Romanian was seriously wounded.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis condemned the attack and stressed his country’s “profound commitment to combating terrorism at the international level.” Meanwhile, National Unity Government Leaders denounced the deadly attack in Kabul, calling it inhuman and against-Islamic teachings.
“Taliban has been claiming that they have attacked foreigners, but the attack targeted civilians,” the president said, adding peace with Taliban that still killing our innocent people would be difficult. “I strongly condemn the cowardly attack on civilians. Taliban have shamelessly claim responsibility and are celebrating the deaths of innocent civilians.”
Meanwhile Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the Thursday suicide attack, saying Taliban want to have upper hands in peace talks with carrying out bloody attacks against Afghan civilians.
“Such attacks show the utter disregard of terrorists for life and peace. Terrorist are wrong to assume that by committing atrocities they can weaken our resolve to defend the country and its values,” he added.
A large plume of smoke rose over the blast and sirens blared as first responders rushed to the scene. Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a minibus packed with explosives had detonated on a main road in the Shash Darak district at around 10:10 a.m. local time.
Ten civilians were martyred, and 42 others were injured in the attack, Rahimi later tweeted. Later reports put the number of injured at more than 100, as window glasses harmed most of the people inside buildings. The government dailies, including The Kabul Times staffs were among those injured in Thursday’s attack.
So far in 18 such attacks in the Afghan capital this year, at least 209 people have been killed and more than 1,000 others injured, according to dpa.