Taliban militant group claims responsibility for Kabul attack

Special Taliban militant group claims responsibility for Kabul attack
Injured Afghan residents receive treatment at a hospital after a car bomb blast in Kabul on Tuesday, January 14. (Reuters)
Updated 15 January 2019

Taliban militant group claims responsibility for Kabul attack

Taliban militant group claims responsibility for Kabul attack
  • Officials vow to reciprocate against attempt to ‘sabotage peace process’
  • The Taliban released a statement claiming the target of their attack was a US intelligence base in the area

KABUL: The Taliban claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a major truck bomb in Kabul that killed a group of four people and injured over 100 others.

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said the attack was an attempt to “sabotage the peace process,” warning the perpetrators that they would be caught.

The bombing came amidst a series of meetings between countries, including Saudi Arabia, to discuss progress in peace talks to resolve the 17-year-old conflict.

“While we endeavor for peace, stability and regional consensus, the enemy is using any means to sabotage the peace process,” Mohib said.

“We will not be silent against this crime. We will investigate and seek justice,” he added.

The Interior Ministry said four people, three of them police, lost their lives in the attack, which took place in the Green Village area of Kabul.

The Taliban released a statement claiming the target of their attack was a US intelligence base in the area. Though housing many international security firms, Green Village lies near residential areas, and was the scene of a previous Taliban attack a few months ago.

Despite holding talks with US diplomats, the Taliban have stepped up its attacks, inflicting heavy losses on Afghan forces. 

The government, though, has also intensified operations, backed by US-led troops. It also replaced its interior and defense ministers last month, in a move widely seen as hostile to negotiations with the group.

“The Taliban want to show that they will not bow down to military pressure,” Waheed Mozhdah, a military analyst, told Arab News. He added the attack may have been influenced by increased pressure on the Pakistani government from the international community.

Islamabad recently began detaining family members of senior Taliban figures, as well as former Taliban minister Hafiz Mohibullah.

“The arrests include women and children of Taliban members. Let us see what happens. Will Kabul be satisfied, and will the Taliban react to it? Only time can tell this,” Mozhdah said.

He added that Pakistan had forced Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to visit Qatar to begin separate talks with US officials and members of the Kabul government. Baradar, a former Taliban commander, was arrested in Pakistan and jailed several years ago.