Tabnak – It was exactly one year ago when a terrorist attack in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul hit a gathering of the Light Movement, causing the death of dozens of civilians. One year on from the event, another suicide attack targeted the city. The number of victims is estimated to be more than 30 people.
According to a Reuters report, a Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul on Monday, killing up to 35 people and wounding more than 40, government officials said, in one of the worst attacks in the Afghan capital in recent weeks.
Monday's suicide bombing continued the unrelenting violence that has killed around 1,700 civilians in Afghanistan so far this year. The Taliban has launched a wave of attacks around the country in recent days, sparking fighting in more than half a dozen provinces.
The New York Times quotes a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, as saying that they were behind the explosion and that they had targeted buses belonging to the National Directorate of Security.
Afghan security officials, however, cast doubt on the Taliban’s claim of who was targeted. A senior official said that the intelligence service does not use buses to transport its staff and that most of the victims were civilian workers of the Ministry of Mines.
Security forces have been on high alert in recent days ahead of what was supposed to be a major protest against the government in the west of the city, marking the anniversary of a bombing claimed by ISIS that targeted a peaceful demonstration last year and that killed at least 80 people.
But the protest was called off at the last minute on Sunday, reportedly for security reasons, and the protest leaders have said they will try to talk to the government first.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned today’s bombing. "Once again, these terrorists are attacking civilians and targeting government staff," Ghani said in a statement.
It should be noted that on Sunday, dozens of Afghan troops were under siege after Taliban fighters overran a district in northern Faryab province, a spokesman for the provincial police said.
There was also fighting in Baghlan, Badakhshan, and Kunduz provinces in Afghanistan's north, and Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan in the south, according to officials.
The UN has condemned an increase in civilian deaths in Afghanistan in the first half of 2017, with 1,662 killed and more than 3,500 injured.
Deaths and injuries from suicide bombings and other "complex attacks" rose 15 percent, according to a new report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has been documenting civilian casualties in the war-torn country since 2009.
At least 40 percent of all civilian casualties were caused by anti-government forces, including the Taliban, and in attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) group, the report said.