Suicide attack kills three, wounds 85 in Kabul (Second Lead)August 15th, 2009 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS
Kabul, Aug 15 (DPA) A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle Saturday near the NATO military headquarters in Kabul, killing three civilians and wounding about 85 others, just five days before the Aug 20 Afghan presidential election, officials said.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, said Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the militants.
The blast occurred near the gate of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a neighbourhood where the presidential palace and the US embassy are also located.
“The attack was carried out by a Toyota Corolla in front of ISAF headquarters, and as a result, three civilians were martyred and 85 others were wounded,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
At least eight vehicles were destroyed in the attack while windows in houses as far as a half-kilometre away were blown out.
“It was carried out by one of our hero mujahid, Ahmad, and the target was the US embassy and NATO headquarters,” Mujahid told DPA by phone from an undisclosed location.
He claimed 25 foreigners, including NATO soldiers and US embassy workers, were killed in the attack. Taliban casualty claims, however, are often exaggerated.
Mujahid said the attack was carried out by a Toyota vehicle packed with 500 kg of explosives.
The blast occurred just before Afghanistan conducts the second direct presidential election in its history Thursday and amid security concerns for the voting during an escalating insurgency by Taliban militants.
A large cloud of smoke rose above Kabul after Saturday’s explosion, which occurred in an area that is difficult to enter because of tight security.
General Zahir Azimi at the defence ministry said the three bodies and 24 wounded people were evacuated to the main army hospital in Kabul while the rest of the casualties were taken to other medical facilities.
Although the Taliban had fired several rockets into Kabul in the past weeks, the city has been relatively calm in the past six months.
The last major attack happened in February when a group of eight Taliban militants attacked several government buildings in the city. Nearly 30 people, including the attackers, were killed in the assaults.
Security in Kabul has been tightened as hundreds of extra Afghan police and army soldiers were deployed onto its streets in the past weeks.
The security forces have increased their patrols in the city while new checkpoints have been erected to increase security precautions for the presidential election.
- Two Britons among dead in Kabul attack - Oct 30, 2011
- Kabul suicide attack kills seven, wounds 91 (Third Lead) - Aug 15, 2009
- Taliban strike Kabul, other Afghan targets (Second Lead) - Apr 15, 2012
- Blasts rock Kabul as security forces fight Taliban (Lead) - Apr 16, 2012
- Afghan terror attack ends: 48 dead, 65 injured (Second Lead) - Apr 16, 2012
- Kabul terror attack: Fight over, all attackers killed (Lead) - Apr 16, 2012
- Nearly 40 dead in Afghan violence - Aug 09, 2012
- Russian embassy escaped Taliban attack in Afghanistan - Apr 16, 2012
- Terror attack on Kabul supermarket kills 9 - Jan 29, 2011
- Suicide bombers attack Kabul shortly after Obama's visit - May 03, 2012
- Blasts rock Kabul, Taliban target US embassy - Sep 13, 2011
- EU condemns Afghanistan attacks - Apr 16, 2012
- Seven militants killed in Afghanstan - Mar 18, 2012
- 25 killed as insurgent attack foiled in Afghanistan - Oct 08, 2011
- Kabul fighting over, all attackers killed - May 02, 2012
Tags: army hospital, azimi, casualty claims, cloud of smoke, defence ministry, election officials, interior ministry, international security assistance, isaf, military headquarters, nato headquarters, nato soldiers, suicide attack, suicide bomber, target, tight security, toyota corolla, toyota vehicle, undisclosed location, us embassy