Afghanistan Mourns 103 Killed In Kabul Car Bombing

Posted January 29, 2018

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes one week after another Taliban-claimed attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul left at least 22 people dead.

Afghan Public Health Ministry says death toll in suicide vehicle bomb attack in has risen to 63, with 151 wounded in the deadliest insurgent attack in the country so far this year.

An explosives-filled ambulance exploded in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others.

Mirwais Yasini, a member of the Afghan parliament who was nearby when the explosion occurred, said the ambulance approached the checkpoint, close to an office of the High Peace Council and several foreign embassies, and blew up.

The target is believed to have been an interior ministry building, but many people were hit while walking by. "The Taliban's cruelty will not prevail".

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The president followed up his tweet with a firm call for "decisive action" against the Taliban. While Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that police had been killed, eyewitnesses said the victims were mainly civilians.

The Jamuriate hospital, the nearest to the scene, was overwhelmed, with many people lying in corridors waiting to be treated.

The Resolute Support mission remains focused on defeating the insurgents in Afghanistan, the commander of the mission said today, following a terrorist bombing in Kabul.

Though he did not identify any country by name, the Trump administration has repeatedly accused Pakistan of neglect in cracking down on Taliban-linked militant groups such as the Haqqani faction.

The Taliban claimed the attack, which dealt a major blow to the US -backed Afghan government. "This murderous attack renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners".

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The Taliban said the attack was aimed at the country's Interior Ministry.

Both groups hope their attacks will "delegitimize" the government and "create a distance" between the authorities and the people they rule, says Andrew Wilder, Asia Programs vice president at the US Institute of Peace.

The explosion happened Saturday near diplomatic and government buildings.

"For God's sake, read the list", one man pleaded with hospital employees who had carried out a list of people admitted with injuries.

Long-running insurgency: The Taliban, who have been waging a rebellion against authorities in Kabul since a US-led invasion in 2001, have stepped up their operations against Afghan security forces following the withdrawal of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops at the end of 2014.

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The resident said additional smaller blasts could be heard at frequent intervals following the larger explosions. One soldier had been killed and three were wounded, said one official, who declined to be identified.

Trump has committed to stepping up the USA military's engagement in Afghanistan, pledging thousands more US troops without setting deadlines.