Two Taliban attacks in Afghan capital kill one, wound three
KABUL – Taliban suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan‘s capital targeted a convoy of foreign troops and a compound of the country’s intelligence agency, wounding three people and killing at least one, Afghan and foreign officials said on Tuesday.
Taliban and other insurgents have stepped up attacks on Afghan and foreign forces this year, after most coalition troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
As security has deteriorated, some Afghan districts have fallen under Taliban control. A growing presence of forces loyal to Islamic State has fuelled concern that parts of the country are slipping out of Kabul’s grasp.
In the first attack, late on Tuesday morning, a suicide car bomber slammed into a land cruiser carrying foreign forces in the Shah Shaheed area of eastern Kabul, wounding at least two people, Afghan and foreign officials said.
The cruiser caught fire after the explosion, said an Afghan security official at the scene. The blast blew the vehicle off course and into a wall, leaving behind an empty, charred hulk.
“I can confirm that a suicide car bomber targeted foreign forces,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told Reuters.
In a statement, the coalition said there were no fatalities from the attack, but declined to give details.
A foreigner and a bystander were wounded in the incident, a police spokesman, Ebadullah Karimi, said.
In the second attack, Taliban insurgents raided a compound used by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, Karimi said, killing one security guard and wounding another.
“Three suicide bombers were involved in the attack,” he added. “One detonated his explosives, two were shot dead by security forces.”
On Twitter, the Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks, which came a week after last Tuesday’s strike by a suicide bomber on a convoy of U.S. troops close to the U.S. embassy.
About 9,800 U.S troops remain in Afghanistan, down from a peak of around 100,000 in 2011. The majority are training Afghan forces but a few thousand are still engaged in combat operations against the Taliban and others.
On a visit to Kabul on Saturday, U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona called for U.S. troops to stay longer than planned to prevent gains by the militants.
The current schedule is for the military to draw down to an embassy presence by the end of 2016. –Reuters