Separate Bomb Attacks Kill At Least 22 In Afghanistan

afghanstan2More than 20 people were killed in separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including at least 14 when a suicide bomber struck a minibus carrying Nepalese security contractors in the Afghan capital, officials said.

In Kabul, a Reuters witness saw several apparently dead victims and at least two wounded being carried out of the twisted remains of a yellow bus after the suicide bomber struck the vehicle during the morning rush hour in the capital.

Hours later, a bomb planted in a motorbike killed at least eight civilians and wounded another 18 in a crowded market in the northern province of Badakhshan, said provincial government spokesman Naveed Frotan. The casualty count could rise, he said.

The attacks are the latest in a recent surge of violence that highlights the challenges faced by the Afghan government in Kabul and its Western backers as Washington slowly draws down its remaining troops despite a persistent insurgency.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter that 14 people had been killed and eight wounded in the attack in Kabul. Police were working to identify the victims, he said.

The casualties appeared to include Afghan civilians and Nepalese security contractors, Kabul police chief, Abdul Rahman Rahimi said after police and emergency vehicles surrounded the scene in the Banae district in the east of the city.

He said that the suicide bomber had waited near a compound housing the security contractors and struck as the vehicle moved through early morning traffic. As well as the bus passengers, several people in an adjacent market were also wounded in the attack, which occurred during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a statement from the Islamist group’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, on Twitter. There was no immediate indication of who carried out the attack in Badakshan.

The Nepalese government was still working through its embassy in Pakistan, which also oversees Afghanistan, to verify reports that its citizens were involved in the attack, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bharat Paudel said.

Suicide bomber kills six in Kabul

A suicide bomber detonated explosives near the heavily barricaded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Kabul on Saturday, killing six civilians, NATO and local officials said.
The bomber, who was riding an explosives-laden motorcycle, blew himself up near the entrance of Camp Eggers, a NATO spokeswoman said, referring to a sprawling base that is home to 2,500 coalition personnel who train Afghan security forces.
The blast was the latest example of how militants are able to strike the heart of the Afghan capital even after more than a decade of fighting Western forces with far superior firepower.
It also raises questions about Afghan forces’ ability to combat insurgents once most foreign troops leave by the end of 2014.
Pieces of flesh and splattered blood lay on the street near the base, where small bodies were seen being lifted into ambulances, witnesses said.
Young children were among the dead, said Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying they had dispatched a bomber to target the Kabul offices of the United State Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“One of our mujahideen targeted an important intelligence office used for recruiting Americans and Afghans for spying,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.
Sediqqi speculated on his Twitter feed that Saturday’s attack, just before noon, may have been carried out by the Haqqanis, the most experienced insurgents in Afghanistan.