At Least 28 Killed, Over 300 Injured in Kabul Suicide Bombing; Taliban Claims Responsibility

Smoke billows from where the bombing occurred. Credit: Twitter

Kabul: At least 28 people have been killed and over 300 injured in a suicide bombing attack earlier today in Kabul in an attack on a National Directorate of Security (NDS) unit. A gun battle between the terrorists and security forces followed.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast, which comes a week after the group announced the start of its spring offensive.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack.

What we know:

The attack: Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the suicide attacker had detonated a vehicle. According to Sediqqi, “the first blast was carried out by a suicide bomber in a car and possibly one or two bombers are still resisting.”

According to Reuters, The Taliban said on their Pashto-language website that they had carried out the suicide bombing on “Department 10”, an NDS unit responsible for protecting government ministers and VIPs.

The bombing occurred in a residential area close to the ministry of defence and the presidential palace, as well as as several major Afghan security agencies.

The response: According to witnesses, gunfire could be heard in the area in the immediate aftermath of the blast, and security forces have been engaged in a gun battle with the terrorists.

Afghan police have been instructed to kill the terrorists in the area near the explosion, Sediqqi said. At least one armed assailant was killed by police at the site, but authorities are seeking two more suspects in the area, he said.

Security has been stepped up in Kabul.

Civilian response: Locals have lined up to donate blood to help the injured.

Casualties: At least 28 people have been killed and over 300 injured, according to CNN.

An Afghan man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul. Credit: Reuters

An Afghan man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul. Credit: Reuters

Responsibility: The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack as part of its spring offensive to drive Afghanistan’s Western-backed government from power.

What we don’t know:

Death toll: Although some reports say 28 people have been said to be killed, the actual death toll remains unknown and may rise.

Attackers: The Taliban have said a suicide car bomber blew up the main gate at the front of the office, allowing other fighters, including more suicide bombers, to enter the heavily guarded compound. However, these claims have not been verified by government officials. Although Sediqqi has said security forces are on the lookout for two terrorists, it is unknown if there are more terrorists in the vicinity.

For developments on the story

Follow Twitter conversations here and here.

CNN, for reports and videos

BBC, for detailed updates and images

Categories: World

Tagged as: , , ,