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Suicide bombing kills 95 people in Afghanistan

Posted January. 29, 2018 08:32,   

Updated January. 29, 2018 08:55


An ambulance laden with explosives has killed about 100 people in the center of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. This appears to be the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since the attack in the embassy quarter in May last year.

At least 95 people were killed and 158 people were wounded by the suicide bombing using an ambulance in the afternoon of Sunday, according to news outlets including AP and Reuters. “The attacker got through a security checkpoint after telling police he was taking a patient to nearby Jamhuriat hospital,” said Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry. “He detonated the bomb at a second checkpoint.”

The area is home to a prosperous shopping zone near Jamhuriat hospital, causing serious civilian casualty. It is also close to the High Peace Council (HPC) in charge of peace negotiation of Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry, offices of the European Union and embassies. The Korean Embassy in Kabul has confirmed that no Koreans have been affected by this suicide bombing.

The powerful explosion completely destroyed the area. Explosive sounds could be heard in most of Kabul and black smoke rose tens of meters up into the air. The windows of the Jamhuriat hospital were also scattered into pieces.

Taliban, which is an Islam armed group based on Pakistan, professed itself to be behind this terrorism immediately after the attack. The Interior Ministry of Afghanistan confirmed that the “Haggani network,” an affiliate armed group of the Taliban, carried it out. The ministry is investigating four suspects they arrested on site.

The terrorist attack this time shocked the international community in that an ambulance for relief activities was used. The Afghanistan branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross condemned Saturday’s attack, calling it “unacceptable and unjustifiable.” U.S. President Donald Trump also emphasized through a statement, “I condemn the despicable car bombing attack in Kabul today that has left scores of innocent civilians dead and hundreds injured. Now, all countries should take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supports them.”

On May 31, 2017, 150 were dead and about 600 were wounded by a car bombing accident in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul. On Jan. 20, 22 people including 14 foreigners were killed by six armed Taliban gunmen, who intruded the Kabul Intercontinental hotel, spraying bullets. The Afghan government strengthened security with the series of recent terror attacks but it failed to prevent terrorism, which caused fear and confusion among Afghanistan citizens.

Min-Woo Park minwoo@donga.com