Nearly 50 people killed in Afghanistan in two suicide bombings. The first blew up at a presidential election rally – killing at least 26 people. A second – at an army base – killed at least 22, including civilians.
CGTN’s Gerald Tan has the details.
The charred remains of yet another bombing-a symbol, perhaps, of Afghanistan’s peace process.
This was inside a police training compound outside the capital Kabul, in Parwan Province. As people stood in line for security screening at an election rally, a suicide bomber struck.
Witness Mohammad Rayees recounted, “Suddenly a man on a motorbike arrived and a huge explosion happened, a lot of people were martyred and wounded.”
Dozens were killed and injured. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was on the grounds, but unhurt.
About an hour later, another blast rocked the heart of the capital city, killing nearly as many. This time, the suicide bomber targeted an army base. Women and children were among the casualties.
President Ghani tweeted this message: Kabul was also hit by coward enemy and again the target was civilian lives. I offer my heartfelt condolences to victims of today’s tragedies in Kabul and Parwan and pray for speedy recovery of those who were wounded.
The Taliban is claiming responsibility for both attacks. The group has repeatedly vowed to disrupt the country’s presidential elections in less than two weeks.
It’s staunchly opposed to the polls, fearing they will cement the government’s hold on power. Taliban leaders refuse to directly negotiate with the U.S-backed Afghan government.
They had been engaged in talks mediated by Qatar to end the 18-year conflict, but U.S. President Donald Trump pronounced the negotiations dead earlier this month, after a Taliban attack killed a U.S. soldier.
The Taliban had warned the abrupt cancellation of those talks would trigger an escalation of violence.
With Tuesday’s twin bombings, they appear to be making good on that threat.