A Taliban suicide car bomb rocked Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 10 civilians in a busy diplomatic area that includes the US Embassy — the second such attack this week that underscored Afghan government warnings that a preliminary US-Taliban deal on ending America’s longest war was moving dangerously quickly.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said another 42 people were wounded and 12 vehicles destroyed in the explosion.
The NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said a US service member and a Romanian soldier were killed in the bombing.
The Taliban said they targeted vehicles of “foreigners” as they tried to enter the heavily guarded Shashdarak area where Afghan national security authorities have offices. The NATO Resolute Support mission is nearby, and British soldiers were at the scene, retrieving what appeared to be the remains of a NATO vehicle. Neither the NATO mission nor the British high commission commented on the attack.
Footage widely shared on social media showed the suicide bomber’s vehicle turning into the checkpoint and exploding — and a passer-by trying to sprint away just seconds before. “We all saw on security camera who were targeted!” presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi tweeted.
Once again, stunned civilians were the victims, though US Ambassador John Bass in his condemnation of the attack said “members of security forces” were among the dead.
“I don’t know who brought us to the hospital and how,” said one of the wounded, Nezamuddin Khan, who was knocked unconscious and woke up in a local hospital.
The explosion at the checkpoint, which has been targeted in the past, follows a Taliban attack against a foreign compound late Monday that killed at least 16 people and wounded more than 100, almost all of them local civilians.