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27Jan18 KABUL 95 killed in 'NATO go home' bomb blast

 
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:21 am    Post subject: 27Jan18 KABUL 95 killed in 'NATO go home' bomb blast Reply with quote

Deadly blast rocks Kabul, Taliban claims responsibility
4 hours ago
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/huge-blast-rocks-afghanistan-kab ul-180127084053950.html

At least 95 people have been killed and 158 were wounded in a powerful suicide blast in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's assault, the third major attack in the past seven days. An interior ministry spokesman blamed the the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, which has been behind many of the biggest attacks on urban targets in Afghanistan.

Attackers blew up an explosives-packed ambulance near an interior ministry building on a busy and heavily-guarded street in Kabul's centre in the afternoon. The Jamhuriat hospital, government offices, businesses and a school are close to the site of the blast.

Ahmed Naweed, a witness, told Al Jazeera the attack took place between two checkpoints.


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"There were many dead bodies and blood everywhere," he said. "People were crying and screaming and running away."


Attackers blew up an explosives-packed ambulance near an interior ministry building [Anadolu/Haroon Sabawoon]
Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said Afghan officials were calling the attack a "massacre".

"In the immediate aftermath of the attack, we saw bodies scattered across the street," she said. "The hospitals are inundated with the wounded and officials fear the death toll may rise."

The driver passed through one checkpoint by telling police he was escorting a patient to the hospital, our correspondent said, and detonated the explosives at the second.

Huge plumes of dark smoke rose over the city following the attack, and vibrations of the explosion could be felt several kilometres away, according to witnesses.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the city centre, TOLO news reported.

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said attackers must be brought to justice.

"Today's attack is nothing short of an atrocity, and those who have organised and enabled it must be brought to justice and held to account," Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UNAMA, said in a statement.


A huge plume of smoke rose above Kabul [Al Jazeera]
The incident comes a week after a Taliban-claimed attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in the city, which left more than 20 dead, and days after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) killed at least three people at the office of Save the Children in Jalalabad.

Commenting on Saturday's bomb blast, Dejan Panic, coordinator at a hospital run by the Emergency NGO, said: "It's a massacre."

The organisation tweeted a photo of a makeshift medical ward, where patients were being attended to on the floor.

At least seven people were dead on arrival, Emergency said.


Abdullah Fahimi, a Kabul-based researcher, told Al Jazeera that the attack could be in response to the government's recent efforts to pound the Taliban in remote areas, in addition to recent US sanctions on its members.

Fahimi explained: "This is an impasse, neither side is winning. The [Taliban] group is not going to surrender or give up, they want to take more areas, territories."

On Friday, the administration of US President Donald Trump sanctioned four Taliban and two Haqqani network leaders "who have been involved in attacks on coalition troops, smuggling of individuals, or financing these terrorist groups", said Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, a position within the US treasury department.

Afzal Ashraf, visiting fellow at Nottingham University's Centre for Conflict, Security and Terrorism, said the Taliban's aim was to tell the international community that it "remains a force to be reckoned with".

The Trump administration's strategy of sending more troops to Afghanistan and increasing air strikes there was "clearly not working", he said.

"The solution has to be political," he said, adding: "And I'm afraid the same amount of effort hasn't been put into providing a political solution, while politicians tasked with delivering a more attractive form of government in Afghanistan than the Taliban haven't been able to provide that counterbalance.

"That is part of what has emboldened the Taliban."

With reporting by Al Jazeera's Shereena Qazi: @ShereenaQazi

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afghanistan mourns after ambulance bomb kills more than 100
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/28/asia/afghanistan-kabul-ambulance-bo mb/index.html
By Ehsan Popalzai, Faith Karimi, and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Updated 0016 GMT (0816 HKT) January 29, 2018
A wounded man is assisted at the site of an explosion in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. The Interior Ministry says a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul has left dozens wounded. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

A burnt-out police pick-up truck stands in the street after Afghan security forces retook control of Kunduz city from the Taliban militants in northeastern Kunduz province, on October 1, 2015. Afghan forces retook control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on October 1 after a three-day Taliban occupation that dealt a stinging blow to the country's NATO-trained military. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
The state of the Taliban in Afghanistan

The Taliban in Pakistan's terror legacy
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a Taliban-claimed deadly suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Armed militants in Afghanistan have staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in the capital Tuesday morning, killing many and wounding more than 320 people. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Dozens killed in Taliban attack on Kabul
Pakistani Christians mourn the death of a blast victim of the March 27 suicide bombing, in Lahore on March 28, 2016.

Pakistan's army launched raids and arrested suspects after a Taliban suicide bomber targeting Christians over Easter killed 72 people including many children in a park crowded with families. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Taliban splinter group vows more attacks in Pakistan
pakistan school terror attack survivors orig_00000606.jpg
Terror attack survivors are still healing
A wounded man is assisted at the site of an explosion in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. The Interior Ministry says a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul has left dozens wounded. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)Now Playing
Ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens
Smokes rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Gunmen stormed the hotel in the Afghan capital on Saturday evening, triggering a shootout with security forces, officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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Caption:Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai gives a press conference on July 14, 2014 after meeting with the Nigerian president in Abuja. Malala on July 14 urged Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to meet with parents of the schoolgirls kidnapped three months ago by Boko Haram. Malala, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 and has become a champion for access to schooling, was in Abuja on her 17th birthday to mark the somber anniversary of Boko Haram's April 14 abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in the northeast Nigerian city of Chibok. AFP PHOTO / WOLE EMMANUEL (Photo credit should read WOLE EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty Images)
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Afhanistan's TOLO TV defies the Taliban
A burnt-out police pick-up truck stands in the street after Afghan security forces retook control of Kunduz city from the Taliban militants in northeastern Kunduz province, on October 1, 2015. Afghan forces retook control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz on October 1 after a three-day Taliban occupation that dealt a stinging blow to the country's NATO-trained military. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
The state of the Taliban in Afghanistan

The Taliban in Pakistan's terror legacy
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a Taliban-claimed deadly suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Armed militants in Afghanistan have staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in the capital Tuesday morning, killing many and wounding more than 320 people. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Dozens killed in Taliban attack on Kabul
Pakistani Christians mourn the death of a blast victim of the March 27 suicide bombing, in Lahore on March 28, 2016.

Pakistan's army launched raids and arrested suspects after a Taliban suicide bomber targeting Christians over Easter killed 72 people including many children in a park crowded with families. / AFP / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
Taliban splinter group vows more attacks in Pakistan
pakistan school terror attack survivors orig_00000606.jpg
Terror attack survivors are still healing
A wounded man is assisted at the site of an explosion in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. The Interior Ministry says a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul has left dozens wounded. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Ambulance packed with explosives kills dozens
Smokes rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Gunmen stormed the hotel in the Afghan capital on Saturday evening, triggering a shootout with security forces, officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Taliban claim responsibility for hotel attack
taliban releases couple
American-Canadian family freed from captivity
canadian family freed parents speak paula newton _00011721.jpg
Parents of freed Canadian hostages speak

Trump: Rescue a sign world respects US again
taliban releases couple
Taliban releases video of abducted family (2016)
kunduz taliban launch attack watson_00010507.jpg
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Afghan men stone a woman in a hole to death in Ghalmeen, Afghanistan.
Woman stoned for adultery
Story highlights
The attack occurred in the heart of what's considered the most secure part of the city
It's renewing doubts over the Afghan authorities' ability to keep people safe
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)As Afghanistan mourned another deadly attack Sunday -- one that raises questions about the potential for stability in the region -- a top American general says US victory in Afghanistan is still a possibility.

The Afghan government declared a national day of mourning after an ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded street in the capital of Kabul, killing 103 people.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack, which injured 235 people, including 30 police officers, Kabul police chief Basir Mojahid said. It comes a week after militants stormed a Kabul hotel and killed scores in a 12-hour standoff.
After Kabul hotel attack, is anywhere in Afghan capital safe?
After Kabul hotel attack, is anywhere in Afghan capital safe?
Flags were flown at half-staff nationwide after the latest attack. The government set aside Monday as a public holiday and Tuesday as a day of prayer for the victims, according to presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi.
The blast Saturday occurred after the ambulance passed through a security checkpoint, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
Police identified the attacker at a second checkpoint, Rahimi said, but couldn't stop him before he detonated the explosives in a central area near the old Interior Ministry building, a hospital and diplomatic buildings.
The attack, in the heart of what's considered the most secure part of the city, renewed doubts over Afghan authorities' ability to keep people safe.
Meanwhile, the head of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told CNN that the attacks do nothing to dampen the United States' resolve to help Afghanistan, and that victory in the war-torn country remains "absolutely, absolutely" possible.
Hotel siege
Afghanistan has had a deadly few days, with ISIS attacking an office of the aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens.
Last weekend, gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, killing at least 22 people during a 12-hour standoff with Afghan security forces. Six gunmen were killed. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that assault.
Saturday's bombing was not just another attack in the Afghan capital. Every time the so-called "ring of steel" in the city is penetrated, it challenges the government's ability to remain in control of even its most important sanctuaries.
Strategy change for Taliban?
The Taliban's swift claim of responsibility marked a contrast to a March attack on a key military hospital in Kabul that killed at least 30 people, many of them doctors and injured soldiers. The Taliban denied it was behind the hospital attack, and ISIS eventually claimed it.
Gunmen in medical garb attack Kabul hospital in 2017
Gunmen in medical garb attack Kabul hospital in 2017
This time, the Taliban had no such qualms. It's possibly a sign the Taliban doesn't want to lose out to its younger, nastier rival insurgency in the extremism stakes. A year ago, medical facilities were off-limits; now, an ambulance can be used as a bomb.
US President Donald Trump condemned the attack.
"This murderous attack renews our resolve and that (of) our Afghan partners," Trump said in a statement.
"The Taliban's cruelty will not prevail. The United States is committed to a secure Afghanistan that is free from terrorists who would target Americans, our allies, and anyone who does not share their wicked ideology. Now, all countries should take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supports them."
The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan said the attack was "nothing short of an atrocity" that targeted a civilian area.
"While the Taliban claim suggested the purpose of the attack was to target police, a massive vehicle bomb in a densely populated area could not reasonably be expected to leave civilians unharmed," Tadamichi Yamamoto said in a statement.
Strongholds vulnerable?
The latest attack comes at a crucial moment in the 16-year Afghanistan war. Last year, US and Afghan officials accepted that things had not gone well -- that territory had been lost. This year, they insist, the Taliban will begin to lose territory again. Attacks such as this not only diminish morale but show strongholds as vulnerable.
A wounded woman is assisted at the site of the attack Saturday in Kabul.
A wounded woman is assisted at the site of the attack Saturday in Kabul.
Hundreds more US troops are en route to Afghanistan to begin a much riskier mission: training Afghan troops outside the wire. The mission will put Americans on the front lines, possible in deadly combat situations.
Speaking at an airbase outside Amman, Jordan, on Sunday, Gen. Votel said the recent attacks have served only to bolster the US commitment to Afghanistan.
"(The attacks do) not impact our commitment to Afghanistan, our commitment to the mission and seeing this through and our commitment about making sure that the Afghan national security forces have what they need to deal with this particular enemy," he told CNN. "As horrible as this is, to me, it strengthens our resolve to help them move forward."
Votel was in Jordan for a ceremony celebrating the delivery of Black Hawk helicopters to the nation. There, he also emphasized US commitment to its Arab ally, which borders Israel, Syria and Iraq.
"Jordan has been a fantastic partner for a number of years," the general said. "I think what you saw in our demonstration here today is the maturity of our relationship. Jordanians are operating top-of-the-line equipment and doing a great job with it."
Votel was also pressed on an issue closer to Jordan -- a Turkish demand that the US withdraw its troops from Manbij, in northern Syria's Aleppo Governorate, so as to allow Turkish forces to take on US-backed Kurdish forces in the region. He said such a withdrawal wasn't in the offing.
"Right now, it's not something we're looking into," he said.

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