Govt employees targeted in Kabul car bombing; 24 killed

RSTV Bureau
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@Reuters

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@Reuters

At least 24 people have been killed and 42 others have been wounded after a car bomb struck a bus carrying government employees in western Kabul on Monday.

“The car bomb hit a bus carrying employees of the ministry of mines during rush hour,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP.

So far no militant group has claimed the blast.

The neighbourhood in which blast took place is home to many Shiite Hazaras, a persecuted ethnic minority who have been targeted many times in the past.

The site of attack is also near prominent politician and former warlord Mohammad Mohaqeq’s home.

In Afghanistan’s war with Taliban, several new districts fell to the militants over the weekend.

Kabul has been a clear target for the Taliban and has been rocked by such attacks in the past. A recent UN report showed that these attacks accounted for nearly one-fifth of all civilian Afghan casualties in the first half of 2017.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has been documenting civilian casualties since 2009, said in its recent report that 1,662 civilians were killed and more than 3,500 injured in the first six months of the year.

Many of those deaths happened in a devastating single attack in Kabul in late May when a truck bomb exploded during the morning rush hour, killing more than 150 people and injuring hundreds.

The UNAMA report also said that nearly half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces have seen an increase in civilian deaths in the first six months of the year, mainly due to the rise in attacks by anti-government forces across the country.

NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan ended three years ago, handing sole responsibility to the country’s security forces, who has also suffered spiralling casualties ever since as they try to beat back the resurgent Taliban and contain the growing threat from the Islamic State group.

(With inputs from agencies)