Ukraine in Arabic | British embassy vehicle attacked in Afghanistan

27.11.2014 - 14:35 #suicide, #UK, #Afghanistan, #Taliban, #vehicle, #Kabul
Suicide bomber in Afghanistan drives car into convoy from British embassy, killing a British citizen and six others

KYIV/Ukraine in Arabic/ A suicide bomber has hit a UK embassy vehicle in the Afghan capital Kabul, with a foreign worker reported to be among five people killed.

The other four who died and more than 30 people wounded were Afghans, officials say. Most of the victims are reported to have been bystanders.

The attack, carried out by a car bomber, was claimed by the Taliban.

The Afghan interior ministry said in a statement that the dead included four Afghans and one British citizen when a bomber attacked on the Jalalabad Road in east of the Afghan capital, destroying three vehicles. The area was reported to be jammed with traffic.

Initial reports suggested the bomber was on a motorcycle but eyewitnesses also said a Toyota Corolla hit the convoy.

The British embassy in the Afghan capital has confirmed that at least one of their vehicles had been attacked and four people had been hurt.

A spokesman for the British embassy said: “A British embassy vehicle was attacked today. There have been some injuries.

“We are working with the relevant Afghan authorities.”

The bombing happen around 10.30am local time.

According to one report, a translator was among the dead.

According to the local Pajhwok news agency, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a series in recent days which have killed dozens and wounded hundreds.

A senior official at the British Foreign Office said it was still trying to establish the full facts following the “shocking news” of the attack. Simon Fraser, the FCO’s permanent under-secretary, tweeted that his “thoughts [are] with all our people” in Afghanistan.

The bombing is the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Kabul as the majority of foreign combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year after 13 years of war against the Islamist Taliban and their allies. A smaller support mission will remain.

The threat level in Kabul has been higher than usual over the past weeks. Intelligence officials have warned against an increased kidnapping threat against foreigners in Kabul and some eastern provinces.

The attack underlines the challenge facing the new president, former World Bank technocrat Ashraf Ghani, in tackling an insurgency that has flared up over the past months.

Earlier this week, two explosions wounded seven army officers after a bomb attack on their bus, while a grenade blast in the diplomatic quarter claimed by the Taliban caused no casualties but led to the arrest of a suspect, officials said.

Two US soldiers were also reported to have been killed when their vehicle was hit by a bomb in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in Afghanistan, killing more than 50 people.

The variety in targets of those attacks has led experts to believe that different factions are behind them.

The Taliban have long sought to use violence in Kabul itself to undermine confidence in the Afghan government and its foreign supporters, as well as to sap backing for continued involvement in the country in the west.

While Afghanistan’s military and police remain in control of all 34 provincial capitals, violence has risen in the last year and the rate of casualties suffered by local security forces has been described by the US military as unsustainable.

As foreign troops withdraw, Taliban militants have intensified assaults on government troops, particularly in provinces in the east and south.

Around 4,600 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed already in 2014, more than 6% higher than the same period of 2013.

This year has also been one of the bloodiest for Afghan civilians, according to the United Nations, which recorded nearly 5,000 deaths and injuries of civilians in the first half of the year.

Barack Obama recently issued new orders to increase slightly the number of troops who will stay in Afghanistan and to allow them a more significant combat role than previously envisaged.

theguardian.com

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