Afghan mujahidin kill 18

2010-05-18 21:13
Afghan policemen look at the mangled remains of a vehicle after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ahmad Massoud, AP Photo)

Afghan policemen look at the mangled remains of a vehicle after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Ahmad Massoud, AP Photo) (Ahmad Massoud)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - A suicide car bomber attacked a Nato convoy in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, killing six foreign soldiers and at least 12 Afghan civilians in one of the deadliest strikes on Kabul in more than a year.

The Taliban, which is leading a nearly nine-year insurgency against the government and its foreign backers, claimed responsibility for the bomb, having pledged a new nationwide campaign of attacks.

The bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives during rush hour, unleashing blood and chaos on a clogged street near parliament and on a nearby hospital run by foreigners, an army recruitment centre and the ministry of water and energy.

The Nato International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed one of its convoys had been hit and said six international soldiers were killed and several others wounded.

Interior ministry spokesperson Zemarai Bashary said 12 civilians were killed and 47 wounded. Most had been passing in a bus when the bomber blew up the car.

Children and women were among the dead.

The American University of Afghanistan was across the road from the bomb site and the Kabul museum about 100m away.

Little girl

A burnt-out vehicle sat crumpled in the street and Afghan civilians, some covered in blood, were being evacuated from the site.

Among them was a little girl wearing school uniform of a black skirt and white headscarf, who was carried out by a volunteer.

The militia are waging an increasingly deadly insurgency and attacks have increased over the past 12 months in the heavily guarded capital.

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen "strongly" condemned the attack but said the alliance remained "committed to its mission to protect the Afghan people and to strengthen Afghanistan's ability to resist terrorism".

It was the first major attack in Kabul since February 26, when Taliban suicide bombers targeted guest houses, killing 16 people including Westerners and Indians in one of the deadliest attacks on foreigners.

On October 8 2009 a massive suicide bomb killed 17 people near the Indian embassy. On February 11 2009, the Taliban launched suicide bomb and gun attacks on three Afghan government buildings, killing at least 26 people.

Zabihullah Mujahed, a Taliban spokesperson, telephoned AFP from an undisclosed location to claim responsibility.

"The attack, which was a suicide car bomb, was carried out by one of our mujahidin", or holy warriors, he said.

119 troops dead

The Taliban had vowed to unleash a new nationwide campaign of attacks from May 10 targeting diplomats, members of the Afghan parliament, foreign contractors and the 130 000-strong international military force in Afghanistan.

Also on Tuesday, in the eastern province of Paktia, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a local administration headquarters after police opened fire on him, the interior ministry said.

A police officer was killed, it said.

Two police officers and two soldiers were killed in separate Taliban-style roadside bombings in the southern province of Helmand, the interior and defence ministries said.

The attacks were blamed on Taliban.

At least 208 Nato soldiers have died in the war so far this year, according to an AFP tally. It is the deadliest January to May period since a US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime in 2001.

From January to the end of May of 2009, 119 Nato soldiers died in Afghanistan. Overall, 520 Nato troops died in 2009, the deadliest year so far for the US-led foreign force since the 2001 invasion.

The United States and its NATO allies plan to increase their deployment to 150 000 personnel by August.

Washington believes this "surge" can wrest the initiative from the Taliban in key population centres and allow US forces to start withdrawing from the unpopular and costly conflict next year.

Read more on:    taliban  |  nato  |  isaf  |  afghanistan


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24


Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...


Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true

You may need to re-look at the fine print. Things are not what they seem. Trust your intuition and look into things a bit more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.