The Afghan Taliban took credit for yesterday’s suicide attack in the capital of Kabul that targeted the site of an upcoming meeting of Afghan leaders who will vote on the Bilateral Security Agreement.
The Taliban claimed the attack in a statement released on their official propaganda website, Voice of Jihad. The statement was written by spokesman Zabihullah Muhajid.
“A martyr attack hit the heavily-guarded military convoy of the puppets [Afghan security personnel] in Kabul city, the capital of the country later on Saturday, killing as many as 32 puppets and wounding several others,” the Taliban statement said.
The Taliban identified the suicide bomber as “Mujahid Saeed” and said he was a member of “the martyrdom-seeking unit of the Islamic Emirate.”
Saeed “drove his corolla car loaded with explosives toward the convoy of the enemy stopped to search the people and slammed into it, blowing 7 enemy’s military vehicles to pieces as well as inflicting mentioned fatalities on the enemy,” according to the Taliban.
The Ministry of Interior said that 13 Afghans, including three security personnel, were killed in the blast, and “17 cars and 18 shops were ruined,” Pajhwok Afghan News reported.
While the Taliban claimed the attack directly targeted security personnel, they did not mention that the suicide bombing occurred just outside the location of the Loya Jirga, or grand assembly. The Loya Jirga, to be held on Nov. 21, is a meeting of politicians, tribal leaders, clerics, and other influential Afghans who are to vote on the Bilateral Security Agreement, the security pact that is to decide on the future of US forces in country after 2014, when NATO’s Afghan mission ends.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited the Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan, such as the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, to attend the Loya Jirga.
“We invite them, please come to this national jirga of Afghanistan, raise your voice, raise your objection … and share your views,” Karzai said yesterday, according to AFP.
The Taliban have repeatedly said they would not join in an inclusive Afghan government and have insisted that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s shadow government, be returned to power. The Taliban have also rejected the Bilateral Security Agreement and demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan.