Afghans condemn Taliban violence

AFP and Salaam Times

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of twin blasts in Kabul January 10. [WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP]

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of twin blasts in Kabul January 10. [WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP]

KABUL -- Bombings in three Afghan cities killed at least 56 people and wounded 100 others Tuesday (January 10), sparking widespread condemnation among Afghans and the international community.

At least 13 people were killed when explosives hidden in a sofa detonated inside the governor's compound in southern Kandahar during a visit by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to Afghanistan, AFP reported.

Just hours before the Kandahar attack, twin Taliban blasts in Kabul tore through employees exiting a parliament annex, which houses the offices of lawmakers, killing at least 36 people and wounding 80 others.

Earlier Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkargah, Helmand Province.

UAE officials killed, injured

Five UAE officials were killed in the Kandahar blast, while UAE envoy Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi and Provincial Governor Humayun Azizi were wounded, officials said.

Many others were burned beyond recognition, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq told AFP.

Samim Khpalwak, spokesman for Kandahar Province, said he was among those wounded in the blast at the governor's office. "Both the Kandahar governor and the ambassador from the UAE received minor injuries," he told Salaam Times.

The Emirati officials killed were "on a mission to carry out humanitarian, educational and development projects", the UAE's official WAM news agency reported Wednesday (January 11).

"This incident will in no way affect relations or co-operation between Afghanistan and UAE," President Ashraf Ghani said, ordering an investigation.

Taliban claim Kabul blasts

The Taliban denied responsibility for the Kandahar attack, but they said they were behind the Kabul blasts.

In the first explosion, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a minibus transporting government employees. As rescuers reached the scene, a car bomb exploded.

Among the 36 dead were four policemen who were killed in the second explosion when they rushed to help the victims of the first blast.

Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said the toll was expected to rise as many of the wounded were battling for their lives in hospital.

Condemning the "barbaric attack", Ghani lashed out at the Taliban for the assault on civilians.

"The deaths of scores of civilians in today's Kabul bomb attacks indicates that the Taliban are pressing ahead with a gruesome campaign of violence that makes no effort to spare civilian lives," Amnesty International said in a statement.

Afghan government Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said the attacks were an "unpardonable crime" carried out by "the enemies of Afghanistan".

"I strongly condemn this cowardly act of insurgents," he said in a statement posted to Facebook. The militants "must understand that such attacks and bloodshed will not weaken [Afghans'] spirit and will not create disruption in national unity".

Attacks go against Islam, Afghan culture

"Afghanistan condemns every terrorist attack, especially those targeting innocent people and workers," Afghan Ulema Council chairman Maulvi Qayamuddin Kashaf told Salaam Times. "We strongly condemn the attacks that killed dozens of innocent Afghans and also our guests from the UAE in Kandahar and Kabul."

The Taliban's attacks are barbaric, he said. "They don't believe in humanity and Islam," he said. "If someone kills innocent Muslims, it is haram in Islam. They proved that they are not part of Afghanistan."

Kabul University student Atiqullah said he was on his way home when he heard the blast on Darulaman Road. "We were shocked for a while about what to do," he told Salaam Times.

"Everyone has a family, and I know that the people killed were going home to have a nice night with their families, but insurgents killed them all and also their hopes," he said. "This is not in Islam or in Afghan culture."

Yasir Khogiani, a social worker in Kabul, expressed outrage over the Taliban's attacks.

"They are killing innocent people in my country," he told Salaam Times. "May God Almighty give them hard punishment, because we can't respond with similar types of actions, as we are not terrorists and we are never like-minded."

[Izazullah from Kabul contributed to this report.]

Do you like this article?

0 Comment

Comment Policy * Denotes required field 1500 / 1500