Taliban claims second deadly attack in Kabul in a week

World Today

Afghan volunteers and policemen carry injured men on an ambulance at the scene of a car bomb exploded in front of the old Ministry of Interior building in Kabul on January 27, 2018. An ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on January 27, killing at least 17 people and wounding 110 others, officials said, in an attack claimed by the Taliban. / AFP PHOTO / WAKIL KOHSAR

Kabul, Afghanistan has been the scene of another brutal and deadly attack claimed by the Taliban. An ambulance packed with explosives detonated on a busy street guarded by multiple police checkpoints.

In the aftermath at least 95 people were killed, more than 150 were wounded. It comes a week after militants attacked Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel– killing 22.

CGTN’S Toby Muse reports.

The international Red Cross is calling use of an ambulance to penetrate security and kill so many civilians “harrowing.” The driver passed through a military checkpoint in central Kabul, claiming he had a patient in the back he urgently needed to take to hospital. At a second checkpoint, the attacker detonated his charge.

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry described what happened to the media.

“The route was leading to the former interior ministry and this route was also leading to Indian consulate, Indonesian Embassy and the High Peace Consul office,” Rahimi said. “And the attacker wanted to cross to the same route. Police identified the suicide attacker and before the police could kill the attacker, he blew up the explosives in front of Chicken Street and unfortunately caused such a huge number of casualties.”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack – the deadliest in the country so far in a year’s that’s off to a violent start. A week ago, the Taliban stormed the Intercontinental Hotel, leaving 22 dead. Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry has specifically blamed the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network for both assaults.

The ferocity of Saturday’s attack has shocked Afghanistan. The force of the blast was felt across the city. Thick plumes of black smoke were visible from all over Kabul.

“I was sitting in the office when suddenly an explosion happened,” said eyewitness Alam, who used only his first name.”Right after the explosion our office collapsed and all windows shattered.” 

The United States has been in Afghanistan for 16 years. This latest attack is more evidence that victory for the US and the Afghan government over the Taliban insurgency is far from close.