Taliban Bomber Targets US Military Convoy in Kabul
Ayaz Gul, VOA News
31 May 2019 (7:09AM)
ISLAMABAD — Officials in Afghanistan say a suicide bomb attack Friday targeted a foreign military convoy in Kabul, killing at least four Afghan civilians and wounding four American soldiers.
The U.S. military confirmed the attack in the Afghan capital and said the service members received “minor injuries”. It did not give further details.
The Taliban took responsibility for the bombing on a busy road linking Kabul to the eastern city of Jalalabad, saying a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car near the foreign military convoy.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said several passerby were also among those injured.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid citing initial information claimed the powerful explosion destroyed two military vehicles and killed ten “invaders”, a term insurgents use for U.S.-led NATO forces in the country. The insurgent group’s claims are often inflated.
This was the second bomb attack in as many days in the Afghan capital.
On Thursday, an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate of an Afghan military academy and training center in Kabul. That blast killed six security forces and wounded 12 others. Afghan officials said four civilians were also among those injured.
Meanwhile, fierce clashes were continuing in the northwestern province of Badghis where the Taliban fighters have taken control of the embattled strategic Bala Murghab district during overnight fighting with Afghan forces.
Azai Akazai, who represents the province in the Afghan parliament, confirmed the insurgent advances while talking to VOA and said overnight clashes killed around a dozen government forces.
The Taliban assault forced around 250 Afghan forces to retreat to a nearby Afghan military base, the lawmaker added.
The insurgent violence comes amid peace negations between U.S. and Taliban officials.
The dialogue has lately slowed down over Taliban’s insistence it will not cease hostilities and engage in peace talks with the Afghan government until all foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
The insurgent group dismisses the Kabul administration as a puppet installed by “American invaders”.
The Taliban, however, has engaged in informal discussions with Afghan opposition politicians and civil society groups. The latest round of such talks took place in Moscow this week.
A joint statement issued after the meeting on Thursday, however, offered no substantial outcome on issues such as a Taliban cease-fire during upcoming Muslim festival of Eid.
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