Three terrorist attacks ravaged Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul on Friday, marking the worst single-day of civilian violence in the country since 2009. In all, at least 51 people were killed and over 300 injured by bombings believed to have been carried out by the Taliban.
The first attack occurred early Friday morning, just after midnight, when a truck bomb exploded in an inner-city neighborhood. The explosion killed 15 and wounded 248, blowing out the inside of near-by buildings, and a hole in the ground measuring 30 feet deep.
The second incident happened at the Kabal Police Academy Friday evening, where “the bomber was wearing a police uniform and detonated his explosives among students”, an Academy official said. 27 died, and 28 were hurt in the attack.
Shortly thereafter, at 10:15 pm local time, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the gate of a U.S. Special Forces base called Camp Integrity. Three armed insurgents began opening firing on the military compound shortly thereafter, causing a firefight that lasted until early Saturday morning. Eight Afghan contractors and one NATO coalition soldier were killed.
The base is operated by an American private security contracting company.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the latter two bombings, but not the initial attacks early Friday morning which mainly harmed civilians. Either way, the violence marks the first terrorist acts launched by the organization since announcing its new leader, Akhtar Mansour, on July 30.
The announcement came shortly after the Afghan intelligence service admitted that previous Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, has been dead since April 2013.
In a recent message from Mansour, the new Taliban leader casts doubt on the possibility of an eventual cease-fire agreement between his organization and the Afghan government.
“When we hear about different processes including the peace process, they are all the propaganda campaigns by the enemy,” Mansour warned his followers.
According to the U.N.’s 2015 “Midyear Report” issued Wednesday, 5,000 civilians have been killed so far in 2015 as the result of fighting between the Taliban militants and Afghan forces supported by the United States.
[USA Today] [Reuters] [CNN] [Photo: AP]