The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack near Kabul airport that killed one civilian and injured 13 others early on Monday morning. An explosives-laden car was detonated by a Taliban suicide bomber in an attempt to target a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) convoy.
The attack comes just a day after Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to improve peace talks with the Taliban.
“The bombing occurred near Kabul airport… We are finding out more details,” Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul deputy police chief, told AFP soon after the bomb went off.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a foreign forces convoy, claiming that “several invading forces were killed and wounded”.
The attack highlights the worsening security situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban have been stepping up their nationwide offensive.
The NATO too reacted after the incident and said that it was investigating the matter.
Interestingly on Sunday, Pakistan’s General Sharif was in Kabul to prepare the ground for fresh peace talks with the Taliban.
“Both sides agreed that the first round of dialogue between Afghanistan, Pakistan, US and China will be held in January to lay out a comprehensive roadmap for peace,” the Afghan Presidential Palace had said in a statement.
Asim Bajwa, a Pakistani military spokesman, said on Twitter that the talks will be held in the first week of January but did not disclose the venue.
In July, Pakistan had hosted a milestone first round of talks with the Taliban but the negotiations were stalled when the insurgents confirmed the death of their leader Mullah Omar.
The Afghan forces are currently battling to push out Taliban insurgents who have seized large parts of the key opium-rich district of Sangin in southern Helmand province. The surge in Taliban offensive has prompted first British deployment in the volatile province in 14 months. This is in addition to a recent arrival of US Special Forces in the region. All this comes a year after NATO forces formally ended their combat operations in the country.
The British and US intervention has aggravated the perception that foreign powers are increasingly being drawn back into the conflict as Afghan forces struggle to rein in the Taliban.
(With inputs from agencies)