The blast – which is the second in Afghanistan today – took place on the main road near the airport in the capital, Kabul, which is close to the US embassy and the diplomatic quarter, EXPRESS reports. A NATO spokesman confirmed none of their troops had been hurt, although pictures show a soldier being tended to while lying on the ground by a NATO vehicle as a giant plume of smoke was seen above the blast scene.
An Afghan health ministry official said the 22 wounded civilians included four children and three woman. A text message from the Taliban claiming responsibility for the blast was sent to the Associated Press in Kabul. The terrorist group is in constant skirmishes with Afghan security forces are they took on the task when NATO ended major combat operations last December.
Eyewitnesses said the attack happened during early afternoon prayers and people who rushed out of a nearby mosque threw stones at foreign soldiers and jouranlists at the scene. The roads were choked with vehicles at the time as government employees were leaving their offices due to a shortened working day during Ramadan. Witness, Ahmad Farhad said: “I saw a Toyota Corolla target the convoy of foreign forces, I saw two to three damaged vehicles and wounded victims were everywhere and there was no one to help them.”
Another suicide attack today on the police headquarters of southern Helmand province killed up to three people and wounded more than 50, including policemen, officials said. A Helmand province governor spokesman said most of the injured there were also women and children. It comes a week after an audacious attack on the nation’s parliament, which highlighted the ability of insurgents, who have been fighting to overthrow the Kabul government for almost 14 years, to enter the highly fortified capital to stage deadly attacks.
A small amount of foreign troops still remain in the country to provide training and support to local security forces. More than 4,000 civilians have been killed this year during fighting, with the Government fearing the 2015 toll could be higher than last year.