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Besides casualties, NGO attack causes huge financial loss

Besides casualties, NGO attack causes huge financial loss

May 09, 2019 - 15:54

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): People whose businesses affected in Wednesday’s Talibaninfo-icon’s attack in capital Kabul say they are disappointed about the ongoing peace efforts and will be forced to move their capital abroad if the situation continues.

Taliban fighters launched a coordinated attack with a powerful car bombing outside the US-funded NGO, Counterpart International office, in Kabul around 11:40am on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said one security official, four public order police personnel, one guard of the NGO and three civilians were killed and 20 others wounded in the attack.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and accused the NGO of being involved in promoting western culture.

The attack also shattered windowpanes of many residential buildings, markets and shops in the area in a radius of one kilometer and their owners were busy trashing broken glasses on the second day of the blast.

Many trees have also burnt and buildings and offices are severely damaged in areas close to the attack.

Six vehicles were destroyed in the compound of Care International alone and many vehicles belonging to other offices and people were also torched or damaged in the incident.

Hazratullah, a trader who lives opposite to the Counterpart International office, said all windows and doors of his house were destroyed and his vehicle parked inside his home was damaged.

He said he was in Kabul Mandavi Market in his shop when got aware of the incident.

“I was in panic and urgently came to the incident area, there a heavy fighting was underway and the flames of a fire were about to reach my house second story, but security forces did not allow me to enter my house and rescue my family members,” he said.

He said all his family members were stuck inside his house until the end of the incident and one of his sons was injured by flying glasses.

“I cannot explain how I and my family members were terrified by the incident,” he said.

“The ongoing peace talks in Qatar are just a drama, President Ghani has protected himself inside strong concrete walls and the Taliban live in luxury buildings in Qatar, they are unaware what innocent Afghans are suffering from,” he said.

The building of a transport company was also severely damaged and one of its guards killed and nine of its staff members were injured in the incident.

Masihullah Malakzai, an official of the company said, “One of our guards lost his life when he was reciting the holy Quraninfo-icon.”

While explaining the attack, he said, “First we saw a huge flame, then heard a huge explosion followed by an earthquake and gunfire, all things in our office tangled and glasses poured down on the ground and doors and windows broke, we were terrified.”

“We left our building and took our injured through a back door to another building and then reached a street and left the area,” he said.

He said three of his vehicles were fully torched, another three were seriously damaged and all things of his office were destroyed, estimating his losses at $300,000

He also said the ongoing peace negotiations were a drama and he was pessimistic about any outcome of the talks.

“When traders’ belongings and lives are not safe, they are obligated to divest and move their business to other countries”, he said.

Guards of the Counterpart International did not allow Pajhwok reporter to enter the NGO’s building, but he saw one of the NGO’s wall had collapsed, its windows shattered and hit with bullets.

However, the NGO in a statement said all its civilian staffers were evacuated safely from the attack.

The NGO thanked Afghan Special Forces for their timely action and rescuing people.

The source said the NGO was in contact with its staff members and they had sustained no damages in the attack.

“This attack targeted those civilians who sacrificed their lives for serving other people,” Counterpart International head, Dr. Ann Hudock said.

A number of offices and buildings including the Attorney General Office that sustained damages in Wednesday’s attack were closed today.

Kabul police spokesman, Basir Mujahid said that the attack was carried out through a vehicle, but the type of the vehicle was yet to be ascertained.

He said four attackers after the bomb blast entered the Counterpart International office and fought for several hours and the attack came to an end around 5pm after all the fighters were killed.



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