Twin Taliban suicide blasts kill at least 24 in Afghanistan capital

Updated on Sep 05, 2016 09:34 PM IST

Two Taliban suicide bombers on foot struck close to the Afghan defence ministry in Kabul during late afternoon rush hour on Monday, killing at least five people and wounding 13 others, officials said.

Afghan security personnel and firemen recover a body from the scene of a twin suicide bombing near the Ministry of Defense in Kabul.(AFP)
Afghan security personnel and firemen recover a body from the scene of a twin suicide bombing near the Ministry of Defense in Kabul.(AFP)
ByAFP, Kabul

The death toll from Monday’s Taliban double suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul jumped to 24 with 91 wounded, the health ministry said.

“The attack killed 24 people and left 91 others wounded, some of them seriously,” ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh told AFP, warning that the toll could rise further.

Two Taliban suicide bombers on foot struck close to the defence ministry in Kabul during late afternoon rush hour, the latest assault on the Afghan capital. The assault comes as the Taliban intensify their nationwide offensive against the US-backed government.

The two bombers blew themselves up in rapid succession, in an attack apparently aimed at inflicting mass casualties as government workers left the ministry after work.

Afghan policemen transport wounded colleagues following a twin suicide bombing near the Ministry of Defense in Kabul on Monday. (AFP Photo)
Afghan policemen transport wounded colleagues following a twin suicide bombing near the Ministry of Defense in Kabul on Monday. (AFP Photo)

“The first explosion occurred on a bridge near the defence ministry. When soldiers, policemen and civilians rushed to the scene, there was the second explosion,” defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told AFP.

President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack.

“The enemies of Afghanistan are losing the fight in the ground battle with security forces,” Ghani said in a statement. “That is why they are attacking, highways, cities, mosques, schools and ordinary people.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the defence ministry was the object of the first attack, while police were targeted in the second.

The attack took place more than a week after 16 people were killed when militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, in a nearly 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students.

The two bombers blew themselves up in rapid succession, in an attack apparently aimed at inflicting mass casualties as government workers left the ministry after work. (AP Photo)
The two bombers blew themselves up in rapid succession, in an attack apparently aimed at inflicting mass casualties as government workers left the ministry after work. (AP Photo)

Explosions and gunfire rocked the campus in that attack, which came just weeks after two university professors -- an American and an Australian -- were kidnapped at gunpoint near the school.

Their whereabouts are still unknown and no group so far has publicly claimed responsibility for the abductions, the latest in a series of kidnappings in the conflict-torn country.

The uptick in violence in the capital comes as the Taliban escalate nationwide attacks, underscoring the worsening security situation since NATO forces ended their combat mission at the end of 2014.

Afghan forces backed by US troops are seeking to head off a potential Taliban takeover of Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern opium-rich province of Helmand.

The Taliban have also closed in on Kunduz -- the northern city they briefly seized last year in their biggest military victory since the 2001 US invasion -- leaving Afghan forces stretched on multiple fronts.

But NATO coalition forces have insisted that neither Kunduz nor Lashkar Gah are at risk of falling to the insurgents.

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, December 07, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals