By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: A bombing in the capital Kabul on Wednesday morning targeted the convoy of the first Vice President Amrullah Saleh, martyring 10 people and wounding more than a dozen others, including the vice president’s bodyguards, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh suffered minor burns in the blast. VP Saleh said in his first Video appearance immediately after the attack that he was fine and had sustained only slight burns. He appeared in the Video footage with bandages on one hand.
“Me and my younger son who was also with me are fine,” VP Saleh said in the footage. “I have slight burns on my face and hand from the wave of the blast. I don’t have exact details right now, but I apologize to those who suffered casualties and those who lost their property in the attack.”
In a statement, the Presidential Palace said that President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani unequivocally condemned the terrorist attack that targeted the convoy of the First Vice President Amruallh Saleh, which caused casualties and incurred damages to the homes and businesses in the vicinity.
President Ghani said he inquired after his first-vice president right after knowing about the tragic incident to make sure he is healthy and unharmed.
“Thanks God, Vice-President Saleh is unharmed, but I was deeply saddened over the loss of lives and property caused by this act of terror,” the president quoted in the statement.
President Ghani said such heinous acts of terror and criminality by the terrorists and their foreign sponsors cannot erode our people’s belief to the Republic and their determination to own a peaceful and bright future.
He stressed that the gallant Afghan defense and security forces remain determined to stand against the enemies and defend their homeland and compatriots. President Ghani instructed the relevant authorities to comprehensively probe the incident and mobilize all resources available to reach out to the families affected by the incident, the statement added
Concerned officials immediately visited VP Saleh at his office after the incident, including Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council of National Reconciliation, National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, Political parties’ representatives and civil activists.
The Interior Ministry says the roadside bomb went off as VP Saleh’s convoy was passing through a section of Kabul with shops that sell gas cylinders for use in heating homes and cooking. The blast ignited a fire that set ablaze a number of the shops.
The explosion left behind a scene of destruction — at least 10 shops were smoldering in the aftermath of the explosion that had also shattered windows of dozens of nearby homes, some with doors hanging off their hinges. Cars were wrecked and debris was scattered around.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing and the Taliban quickly denied they were behind the attack.