Taleban suicide bomber targets Kabul army bus



Agence France Presse

Published — Wednesday 27 February 2013

Last update 27 February 2013 3:04 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

KABUL: A Taleban suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying Afghan army personnel in Kabul Wednesday, wounding six people and highlighting a growing trend of strikes on Afghan rather than NATO military targets.
The bomber struck on a main street in the heavily secured Afghan capital, where the Taleban have already claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on the intelligence and traffic police headquarters this year.
Western officials say the trend reflects a shift in strategy, away from focusing on the US-led NATO combat mission which is due to withdraw next year to targeting Afghan forces preparing to take over.
“At around 7:10 a.m. (0240 GMT), a suicide attacker on foot detonated himself next to a military bus in third district of Kabul city, injuring six. They are members of the defense ministry and one civilian,” said police spokesman Hashmatullah Stanikzai.
A witness told the TOLO television channel that the bomber was carrying an umbrella to shield himself from snow.
“I was standing across the street when I saw a man holding an umbrella approach the army bus. He then slid under the bus. I thought he was the driver, but moments later the explosion happened,” he said.
A spokesman for the Taleban, which is leading an 11-year fight against the Western-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that 17 personnel were killed and 17 or more seriously injured. The Taleban routinely exaggerate the death tolls from attacks they claim.
Among the nine attacks recorded by AFP in Afghanistan so far this year, only one of them, on January 25, targeted NATO troops, in the troubled eastern province of Kapisa. Five civilians were killed in that attack.
All the other attacks have targeted tribal elders, police or Afghan intelligence agents.
“Since the start of the year, the objective has mainly been Afghans, even if NATO remains a target,” a Western security official told AFP.
The Pentagon admitted Tuesday that NATO’s International Security Assistance Force had wrongly reported a seven percent decline in Taleban attacks last year, saying that the number was in fact roughly the same as in 2011.
“This is a regrettable error in our database systems that was discovered during a routine quality check. We are making the appropriate adjustments,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
The US government and NATO have repeatedly touted a purported drop in insurgent attacks as proof that the Taleban are on the retreat. The error raised questions about how governments and commanders are portraying the war effort.
The accurate number for insurgent attacks in 2012 showed the assaults had remained at the same level as in 2011, at more than 3,000, a US defense official said.
The United States and NATO have around 100,000 troops in Afghanistan but the vast majority will leave next year, with an estimated 352,000 NATO-trained Afghan police and soldiers taking over.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman briefed the Cabinet, on Monday, about the message he sent to the Kuwaiti emir and the messages he received from the Moroccan king and the Qatari emir.The king also spoke about the outcome of his m...
RIYADH: The Eastern Mediterranean Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced that the region is considered a Zika virus-free zone.Dr. Alaa Alwan, the regional director of EMRO, said that it does not mean that Middle East...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Council is working to establish an electronic system to prevent manipulation of sick leave holidays.Dr. Yaqoob Al-Mazrouh, secretary-general of the council, disclosed this during a seminar on Sunday. He did not elaborate on h...
RIYADH: Specialized Clinics Arabia (SCA) treated a total of 9,220 Syrians at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan during the month of January 2016, according to Dr. Hamid Mufalana, SCA medical director.“Many of the patients were children who were given...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah police have solved the mystery surrounding the thrashing of a man by another, the video clip of which had gone viral.It was a Herculean task for the police to search for the victim, who had not bothered to lodge any complaint. The...
JEDDAH: The Cutoms Department at Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 64,165 Captagon pills found hidden in four boxes.Saad Al-Buqami, director-general of Customs at the Airport, said: “During our c...
AL-AHSA: Plans are afoot to turn the Al-Ahsa dates festival into an international event by adopting top standards in the manufacture, packaging and marketing of the product, Adel Al-Mulhim, the general supervisor of the festival, has said.Speaking du...
RIYADH: A gang comprising two women and youth has been arrested for allegedly looting cash from pharmacies and snatching women’s handbags in malls.Col. Fawaz bin Jameel Al-Maiman, police media spokesman of the Riyadh region, said the arrests were mad...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar on Sunday called for conservation of water and electricity, even as the Water and Electricity minister said Saudi Arabia will need an investment of SR500 billion for power projects over the next 10 years t...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 people accused of various crimes were investigated by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) in the financial year of 1435-1436 A.H.Among the 218,000 who were investigated, around 30 percent or 65,000 were...
RIYADH: Thousands of Saudis have visited the German pavilion at the Janadriyah festival since it was opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman last week, in the presence of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Amba...
DAMMAM: The cold wave in many parts of the Kingdom over the last week caused a decline of between 30 percent and 50 percent in farm production. This decline in turn drove prices of agricultural products at wholesale markets up by 30 percent.Farmers s...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry warned on Monday that heating devices should have a voltage of 220 volts with a capacity not exceeding 2,500 watts.The announcement was made when MCI inspectors seized more than 3,000 substandard heating...
ALKHOBAR: Nearly 100 leading figures in the government and private institutions have completed training programs specializing in integrity and anti-corruption provided by the Saafah Foundation for Good Example in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.The secre...
JEDDAH: Iraqi authorities executed in Baghdad on Sunday a Saudi prisoner, Abdullah Azam Al-Qahtani, 35, on charges described by his family as fabricated.Al-Qahtani had spent almost 13 years in the Iraqi prisons.Rumors about the execution of Al-Qahtan...

Stay Connected

Facebook