25 including 2 indians killed in Afghan blasts


Kabul : Two Indians working as guards at the Canadian Embassy in KABUL were among 25 people killed in a string of Taliban suicide attacks across Afghanistan today. In the first attack, a Taliban suicide bomber hit a minibus in Kabul carrying 14 Nepali security guards along the main road to the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The Taliban also claimed responsibility for a second smaller blast in south Kabul. The guards were working for the Canadian embassy. The third explosion took place in a market in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan, killing 10. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a statement from the Islamist group’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, on Twitter. However it denied responsibility for the attack in Badakhshan.

Islamic State, which is bitterly opposed by the Taliban, said it carried out the Kabul attack but Zabihullah Mujahid dismissed the claim as “rubbish”. “By organising this attack, we wanted to show Americans and NATO military officials that we can conduct attacks wherever, and whenever, we want,” the Taliban spokesman said. The Nepal government was still working through its embassy in Pakistan, which also oversees Afghanistan, to verify reports that its citizens were involved in the attack, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bharat Paudel said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his condolences to his two South Asian neighbours after the attack. “We strongly condemn the horrible tragedy in Kabul. Our deep condolences to people and governments of Afghanistan and Nepal on loss of innocent lives,” Modi said on Twitter. Another explosion in Kabul later on Monday morning wounded a provincial council member and at least three of his bodyguards, Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said. It was thought a bomb had been attached to the lawmaker’s car, he said.

The attacks underlined how serious the security threat facing Afghanistan remains since former Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike last month and was replaced by Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada. The blasts follow a deadly suicide attack on a bus carrying justice ministry staff near Kabul last month and a separate attack on a court in the central city of Ghazni on June 1. The Taliban claimed both those attacks in revenge for the execution of six Taliban prisoners.