At least 12 killed in Kabul car bomb attack in rush hour

Source:AFP Published: 2019/11/13 22:58:41

An Afghan man removes broken glass after a suicide bomb blast in Kabul on Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed and 20 injured, according to the interior ministry. Photo: VCG

At least 12 people, including three children, were killed when a minivan packed with explosives rammed into a vehicle carrying foreigners during Kabul's morning rush hour Wednesday, Afghan officials said.

Four foreign nationals were among those wounded in the attack that targeted an SUV belonging to a private Canadian security company, GardaWorld - in a crowded neighborhood which is near the interior ministry and north of Kabul airport.

"As a result of today's attack in Kabul, 12 people, including three children, were killed and 20 were wounded including four members of GardaWorld," Marwa Amini, an interior ministry spokeswoman, said.  

All those killed in the suicide attack were Afghan civilians, and the nationalities of the foreigners wounded were not confirmed. Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi said that one of those killed was a 13-year-old child heading to school.

"The enemies of our people should know that our people are determined for peace, nothing can stop them from achieving peace," he said.

A source at the interior ministry said the blast was ­detonated by a suicide bomber in the vehicle.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in the city, which is one of the deadliest places in the war-torn country for civilians.

The blast came one day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that Kabul would release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in an apparent prisoner swap with Western hostages who were kidnapped by the insurgents in 2016.

The three Taliban ­prisoners include Anas Haqqani, who was seized in 2014 and whose older brother is the deputy Taliban leader and head of the Haqqani network militant group.

Ghani did not specify the fate of the Western hostages - an Australian and an American, both professors at the American University in Kabul - and it was not clear when or where they would be freed.

The two, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, were kidnapped in August 2016 from the heart of Kabul. They later appeared looking haggard in a Taliban hostage video, with the insurgents going on to say that King was in poor health.

Ghani noted in his speech that "their health has been deteriorating while in the custody of the terrorists."


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