Taliban car bomb blast kills four Afghan special forces in Kabul

Afghan National Army (ANA) solders inspect the site of a suicide car bomb attack near a base of elite Afghan special forces in Char Asiab district, south of the capital Kabul on September 12, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2019
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Taliban car bomb blast kills four Afghan special forces in Kabul

  • The bomber blew up an explosives-laden minibus at the entrance to the camp in Chahar Asyab district

KABUL: A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan Special Forces base in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least four commandos, officials said, as violence continued to escalate following the collapse of peace talks between the United States and Taliban insurgents.
The bomber blew up an explosives-laden minibus at the entrance to the camp in Chahar Asyab district, killing the four special forces members and wounding another three, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, which he said killed more than 200 commandos. The insurgents routinely issue exaggerated casualty claims.
Mujahid said the bomber had been infiltrated into the base well before the attack.
The latest attack underscored expectations of an escalation in violence following US President Donald Trump’s sudden cancelation of the talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan.
In Washington, Trump’s nominee to be the secretary of the US Army said walking away from the talks was the correct decision.
“I think that it was the right decision to step back from the table and try to look at how do you get to a framework to bring a political end state to the conflict,” Ryan McCarthy told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
McCarthy said that he believed that the United States would continue to need not only a counterterrorism capability, but also the ability to advise and assist Afghan security forces.
“We can’t take our eye of the ball there until a time where there is a much greater maturity in the strength within the Afghan government,” McCarthy added.
Last week, a Taliban suicide blast killed at least 10 civilians and two NATO service members near the US embassy in Kabul.


US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

Updated 19 September 2019

US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

  • Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations
  • He blamed the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is taking back $100 million intended for an Afghan energy infrastructure project, citing unacceptably high levels of corruption in the Afghan government.
In the harshly worded statement Thursday, Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations and a maze of transmission lines in southern Afghanistan. It just won’t be spending the money through Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, blaming the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”
This follows an earlier statement, also from Pompeo, calling for “credible and transparent presidential election” when Afghans go to the polls Sept. 28.
The 2014 presidential election was marred by allegations of massive fraud, as was last year’s parliamentary vote.