On Tuesday, Taliban bombings across three Afghan cities including Kabul killed around 50 people and injuring 100 people, including civilians and military personnel.
At least nine people died when explosives hidden in a sofa detonated inside the governor’s compound in southern Kandahar during a visit by the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan, who escaped the attack with injuries.
Just hours earlier, in Kabul, about 4 p.m., two bombs exploded in quick succession in front of an office belonging to the National Directorate of Security that houses offices of some lawmakers. According to reports a suicide bomber blew himself up first at the entrance to parliament’s offices and then a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives. 38 civilians, including four women, had been killed and at least 60 civilians were wounded.
“The first explosion happened outside the parliament… a number of innocent workers were killed and wounded. It was caused by a suicide bomber on foot,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard said.
“The second one was a car bomb. It was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.
Police immediately cordoned off the area and two hours after the attack ambulances could still be heard transporting the wounded to various hospitals in the city.
Among the victims was the head of the NDS zone in the PD7 who was reportedly killed while a female MP from Herat was among the wounded.
The Taliban claimed the responsibility soon after the incident. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the explosions targeted a vehicle belonging to Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency.
An investigation has been launched into the attack. The interior ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemns the barbaric attack by the Taliban terrorists and prays for that those killed in the attack (that they) rest in peace and for the recovery of those wounded.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of volatile Helmand province, as the militants ramp up nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter when fighting usually wanes.
The attacks underline concerns overgrowing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are assisting struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency along with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants.
Afghanistan last week welcomed the Pentagon’s decision to deploy some 300 US Marines to Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014.
The Taliban have frequently targeted the intelligence service, which has conducted numerous successful operations against the group. Last April, the guerrillas mounted a massive attack against an intelligence training center in Kabul, killing 64 people and injuring more than 300.
The Marines will head to the poppy-growing province this spring to assist a NATO-led mission to train Afghan forces, in the latest sign that foreign forces are increasingly being drawn back into the worsening conflict.