38 killed in twin Taliban blasts near Afghanistan Parliament
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 11 Jan 2017 08:29:37|
TWIN Taliban blasts struck near the Afghan Parliament in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least 38 people and wounding 72 others in the rush-hour attack that shattered a relative lull in violence in the capital. Taliban insurgents immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, which struck as employees were exiting the parliament complex.
“The first explosion happened outside the Parliament... A number of innocent workers were killed and wounded. It was caused by a suicide bomber on foot,” Zabi, an injured parliament security guard, told AFP.
“The second one was a car bomb. It was parked on the other side of the road and flung me back when it detonated,” he said.
The blasts left 38 people dead and 72 others wounded, most of them civilians including parliament employees, a security official told AFP, requesting anonymity. Another security official said the explosions had left “dozens of people dead”.
Around 72 wounded people had been rushed to hospitals, a Health Ministry spokesman said.
The blasts went off near a Parliament annexe, which houses offices of some lawmakers.
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the explosions targeted a vehicle belonging to Afghanistan’s main Intelligence agency.
The Taliban are pressing ahead with nationwide attacks despite the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs, as international efforts to jumpstart peace talks falter. Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed, with a fierce new fighting season expected to kick off in the spring.
Earlier on Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile southern province of Helmand, killing seven people, the local police chief said.
No one claimed responsibility for the Helmand attack, but it bore the hallmarks of the Taliban.
The attacks underline concerns over growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where around 10,000 US troops are assisting struggling Afghan forces to combat a resilient Taliban insurgency along with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants.
Afghanistan last week welcomed the Pentagon’s decision to deploy some 300 US Marines to Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014.