3 killed, 21 hurt as car bomber hits EUPOL convoy
KABUL (Pajhwok): At least three people were killed and 21 others wounded when a suicide bomber in a car targeted a European Union Police (EUPOL) Mission convoy near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Sunday morning, a security official said.
Brig. Gen. Haqnawaz Haqyar, the airport security chief, told journalists the bomber targeted foreign troops' convoy around 9am in front of the Meteorological Department’s eastern gate.
He added a EUPOL staff member and two civilians were killed and many women and children were among the 21 people wounded.
Enayatullah, a witness, told Pajhwok Afghan News seven people died in the blast that left more than 20 others wounded. He did not give more details.
Pajhwok Afghan News journalist in the locality said it was a powerful blast that inflicted damages to nearby buildings and stores.
EUPOL Mission in Afghanistan confirmed one of their staff member had died in the attack and three more were wounded.
The Taliban, claiming responsibility for the attack through their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said more than 10 foreign soldiers were killed in the blast. He added Saifullah, a resident of Paktia province, carried out the attack.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani vehemently condemned the attack in a statement, saying: “Killing of civilians especially women and children show that terrorists have faced defeat by security forces on battle ground.”
The European Union (EU) also “strongly condemned” the attack on EUPOL convoy. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in a statement said “for the second time in a week, Kabul has come under a terrorist attack this morning: a number of civilians, including a member of the close protection team of the EU Police Mission in Afghanistan, have been killed.”
“My deepest sympathy goes to the family, friends and loved ones of our colleague and of all other innocent victims,” she added.
She said that the Afghan government needed to ensure that those responsible for the attack were brought to justice.
“The way to peace and stability in Afghanistan is long. It needs a strong commitment from the Afghan leadership, unity of the Afghan people and all the international support that the Afghans require,” she added.
As the EU, the mission has always guaranteed its cooperation with the Afghan authorities and people, and “we will continue in our engagement for security, development and the respect and improvement of the rights of all, of children and women first of all,” EU foreign policy chief concluded.
The Resolute Support (RS) strongly condemned the attack by Taliban that killed and injured several people, including women and children, near the Kabul International Airport on Sunday, a statement from the mission said.
“We are appalled by the Taliban’s lack of concern for civilian casualties, particularly women and children, as they continue their campaign of terror against those trying to move Afghanistan forward,” said Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, Resolute Support Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.
On behalf of General Campbell, Headquarters Resolute Support expressed its condolences to the families affected by this act of violence by the Taliban, the statement added.
Also, the UK strongly condemned today’s terrorist attack. A statement quoting Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the death of a British national.
“This is the second attack in a matter of days for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility and I strongly condemn their cowardly actions. I can confirm that a British security contractor is among those killed in the attack. …… my thoughts are with his family at this incredibly difficult time,” Philip added.
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