The Taliban on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a suicide truck bomb attack in Kabul that killed at least four people and wounded more than 100, in the latest assault on the Afghan capital.
The militant group vowed to carry out more attacks in the city in direct response to the recent appointment of former spymaster and anti-Taliban veteran Amrullah Saleh as Interior Minister.
Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said 113 were wounded in Monday’s attack in the capital.
The explosion near a heavily fortified foreign compound shook Kabul and comes as diplomats ramp up efforts to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, which by some estimates was the world’s deadliest conflict in 2018.
The force of the blast was felt across the sprawling city, initially causing confusion about the exact location of the attack. It shattered windows of surrounding houses and shops.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told journalists on WhatsApp that four attackers blew up an explosives-packed truck before entering Green Village and “killing many” foreigners.
Four people have been confirmed dead and 113 wounded, the Health Ministry said.
Most of the victims were Afghan civilians.
An Indian national was among the dead, the country’s embassy in Kabul said. “We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this cowardly attack and wish early recovery to the injured,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said.
Until recently, some UN staff had lived and worked at Green Village, which is heavily protected by cement blast walls.
But Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said earlier the compound was now largely empty and “only a number of guards” were left.
A much bigger UN compound along with Afghanistan’s customs office and headquarters for the Independent Election Commission are also nearby.
It is the second Taliban-claimed attack on a foreign compound in Kabul in recent months.
In late November, a vehicle bomb exploded outside the compound of British security company G4S, killing at least 10 people. Five G4S employees were among the dead.
That was followed by a suicide and gun attack on a government compound in Kabul on December 24 that killed at least 43 people, making it one of the deadliest assaults on the city last year.
The latest bombing comes as US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visits the region for further meetings aimed at bringing an end to the war in Afghanistan.
Updated: January 15, 2019 03:22 PM