Three blasts hit Kabul, killing one and injuring 17

Sticky bombs are a growing danger in Kabul. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019
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Three blasts hit Kabul, killing one and injuring 17

  • One of the wounded was live-streaming the aftermath of the first bomb when the second bomb detonated
  • The first bomb was a sticky bomb attached to a bus heading to Kabul Education University

KABUL: One person was killed and 17 others wounded Sunday in three successive blasts in Kabul, Afghan officials said, capping a murderous week of mayhem across the city.
Among the wounded was an Afghan journalist who appeared to have been live-streaming the aftermath of the first explosion when a second bomb went off.
The events started with the detonation of a sticky bomb -- a growing menace in Kabul, where insurgents and criminals slap magnetic bombs on the underside of vehicles.
The charge had been placed under a bus carrying officials headed to the Kabul Education University, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
In the immediate aftermath, two more bombs that had been planted by the side of the road went off, he added.
"In total, one Afghan civilian was martyred and 17 others, including a local journalist and five Afghan forces, have been slightly wounded," Rahimi said.
Health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar confirmed the toll.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but both the Taliban and Daesh group have carried out recent blasts.
According to a video circulating on social media, the journalist was hit in the leg by the second bomb.
Last year, nine journalists including AFP Kabul's chief photographer Shah Marai were killed in a secondary explosion after rushing to the scene of an initial blast.
Even though the Taliban and the US are set to begin a new round of peace talks in Doha this month, violence across Afghanistan continues unabated, with civilians often bearing the brunt of the bloodshed.
On Friday, a Taliban car bomber killed at least four Afghan civilians and lightly wounded four US troops in an attack on a US convoy in Kabul.
A day earlier, at least six people were killed and 16 more wounded in an Daesh-claimed suicide blast outside a military academy in the capital.
And eight Afghan police were killed Saturday and seven others wounded in a suicide attack in the eastern Ghazni city, provincial police spokesman Ahmad Khan Seera told AFP.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had proposed a nationwide ceasefire at the start of Ramadan early last month, but the Taliban rejected the offer.
Last year, the Taliban observed a three-day ceasefire over Eid and many Afghans -- exhausted by decades of war and violence -- had pinned their hopes on another truce this year.
Taliban head Haibatullah Akhundzada said Saturday there would be no "cold water" poured on the insurgents' military efforts.


Duterte ‘seriously considering’ cutting ties with Iceland over UN rights probe

Updated 16 July 2019
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Duterte ‘seriously considering’ cutting ties with Iceland over UN rights probe

  • Iceland spearheaded a resolution that asked the UN’s top human rights body to look into the Philippines' deadly anti-drug crackdown
  • Philippine police have killed more than 6,600 suspected drug dealers in sting operations since Duterte took office in 2016.

MANILA: The Philippine president is “seriously considering” cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland, which spearheaded a resolution that asked the UN’s top human rights body to look into the thousands of deaths of suspects under his anti-drug crackdown.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters late Monday that the Iceland-initiated resolution which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in a vote last week in Geneva showed “how the Western powers are scornful of our sovereign exercise of protecting our people from the scourge of prohibited drugs.”
Panelo says President Rodrigo Duterte “is seriously considering cutting diplomatic relations with Iceland” for initiating the “grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan” resolution.
Human rights groups, however, have lauded the resolution as crucial to helping end the drug killings and bringing perpetrators to justice.
The Philippines’ highest-ranking lawmaker said on Monday a UN resolution to probe the country’s bloody war on drugs should be ignored, and its chief backer Iceland be investigated instead for human rights abuses in allowing abortion.
“They have more unborn babies that they have aborted or killed. There are more killings in abortion than the drug pushers who are fighting the police,” Senate President Vicente Sotto told ANC news channel.
The Nordic nation lacks moral grounds to lecture the Philippines on human rights, Sotto said. “So we should disregard that resolution.”
His remarks are the latest in a series of comments from lawmakers urging the government to not cooperate after the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted Iceland’s resolution to investigate thousands of deaths under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign.
Police have killed more than 6,600 suspected drug dealers in sting operations since Duterte took office in 2016. Critics and rights group said authorities summarily execute suspects, which the police deny.
“The criminals can fight back, the babies cannot. What human rights are they talking about?” Sotto said, adding that drug dealers that fight back and destroy families lose their human rights.
His comments about abortion echoed those made by incoming Senator Imee Marcos, the daughter of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Rights groups, which hailed the UN vote as a step toward accountability, point out that the bloody anti-narcotics campaign is marked by systematic cover-ups, planted evidence and impunity.
The president’s spokesman on Monday warned countries not to meddle with the state’s affairs.
“All incidents in the war on drugs are tallied, recorded. All they have to do is ask us, not to pre-judge us,” presidential spokesman Spokesman Panelo told a regular news conference. “It behoves them to render respect to a sovereign state.”
Duterte on Friday mocked Iceland as an ice-eating nation without understanding of his country’s problems.