A suicide bomber killed up to 16 civilians, including employees who worked at the supreme court in Kabul. The Taliban claimed credit for the deadly attack.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car as workers were boarding buses at the end of the work day just outside Afghanistan’s highest court in the capital. Afghan officials reported that between 14 and 16 civilians, including women, children, and court employees, were killed in the attack.
Taliban Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group executed the attack outside the courthouse, according to TOLONews.
Today’s bombing in Kabul is the second suicide attack in the capital in two days, and the third major suicide attack in Afghanistan also in two days.
Yesterday, a team of seven suicide bombers took control of a building under construction that is just outside Kabul International Airport. The Taliban fighters lobbed rocket-propelled grenades at the airport complex; two hangars were damaged and two civilians were wounded. The attack also forced a temporary closure of the airport. Afghan security forces killed all seven attackers.
Also yesterday, in the southeastern province of Zabul, a six-man suicide assault team attempted to storm the provincial office in Qalat, the capital of Zabul. Policemen gunned down five of the attackers after the first suicide bomber blew up a truck packed with explosives at the main gate to the governor’s compound. Fifteen civilians and three policemen were wounded.
The Taliban have said they would step up attacks against “foreign invaders,” or Coalition personnel operating under the command of the International Security Assistance Force, workers from non-governmental organizations operating in Afghanistan, and “officials and workers of the stooge Karzai regime.” The Taliban stressed that suicide and insider attacks would be used, and warned Afghans to “stay away from the bases of the invaders, their residential areas or working for them in order to avoid civilian losses.” [See LWJ report, Taliban promise suicide assaults, ‘insider attacks’ in this year’s spring offensive.]
Over the past three weeks, the Taliban have stepped up suicide operations against the Coalition, NGOs, and Afghan institutions. There have been nine high-profile suicide attacks, including the three attacks yesterday and today in Kabul and Zabul, against Coalition forces and Afghan security forces and institutions throughout Afghanistan in the past 18 days. The preceding six attacks are as follows:
On June 6, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven Georgian soldiers in an attack inside a Forward Operating Base in the Now Zad district of northern Helmand.
On June 3, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 10 Afghan students, two US soldiers, and an Afghan Local Policeman after US and Afghan soldiers were targeted outside a school in Paktia.
On May 29, the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban launched a joint suicide assault on the governor’s compound in Panjshir.
Also on May 29, a suicide assault team attacked a Red Cross office in Jalalabad. The Taliban have denied involvement in the Jalalabad assault.
On May 24, a Taliban suicide assault team targeted a UN-linked NGO compound in Kabul.
And on May 23, a suicide bomber killed seven people in an attack that targeted a local militia commander in Ghazni.