ISIL kills at least 35 in Afghan suicide attack

World Today

Afghan security personal look on at the scene of a suicide attack outside a bank in Jalalabad on April 18, 2015.  (AFP PHOTO / NOORULLAH SHIRZAD)

A suicide bomber killed at least in eastern Afghanistan. ISIL claims responsibility, according to officials. The target  was a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside a bank in Jalalabad.

CCTV America’ s Roee Ruttenberg filed this report from Washington.

ISIL kills at least 35 in Afghan suicide attack

ISIL kills at least 35 in Afghan suicide attack

A suicide bomber killed at least in eastern Afghanistan. ISIL claims responsibility, according to officials. The target was a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside a bank in Jalalabad. CCTV America' s Roee Ruttenberg filed this report from Washington.

The claim of responsibility was made by a group called Islamic State Wilayat Khorasan. Khorasan refers to a historical region that encompasses parts of Afghanistan, parts of Iran and parts of Turkmenistan. This particular group’s spokesman was fired last year as the spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, after pledging his allegiance to ISIL.

The Taliban have denied any role in Saturday attacks, saying it was “an evil attack”. Many had suspected their involvement, as this time is typically when the Taliban’s spring offensive intensifies with a campaign of relentless attacks.

The Taliban are expecting a particularly harsh string of attacks this year, given the U.S.’s back-pedalling last month in announcing that it would delay the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. The government in Kabul is in talks with the Taliban, which may explain why some are hesitant to accuse them.

The Saturday attack was right in the middle of the day, and right in the middle of a busy area, clearly intended to maximize casualties. Saturday marks the start of the work week in Afghanistan, and many of those killed were soldiers and government employees lining up at the bank, trying to withdraw their money.