Suicide bomber hits Afghan Army recruiting center in the north

A suicide bomber killed more than 37 Afghans, including children, in an attack today at an Afghan Army recruiting center in the northern province of Kunduz. The Taliban claimed the attack, which is the latest suicide bombing in the northern province.

The Taliban suicide bomber detonated a bomb that was placed on a bicycle at the Army recruitment center in Kunduz City, the provincial capital.

“The death toll includes new recruits, army soldiers and civilians,” the deputy governor of Kunduz told Reuters, which put the death toll at 37. The International Security Assistance Force said four children were among those killed. Scores more were wounded.

The Taliban claimed the attack in a statement released on their website, Voice of Jihad, but said all of those killed were soldiers and government workers.

“As many as 31 puppets including Afghan soldiers and officers were killed and 34 more were badly wounded in a martyrdom operation conducted by Saifullah, a loin of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kunduz city,” the statement read.

The attack is the third major strike in Kunduz, and the latest in a string of suicide bombings targeting government officials and security forces.

Just five days ago, the Taliban killed General Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili, the provincial chief of police, and four of his bodyguards in a suicide attack at a bazaar in Kunduz City.

On Feb. 21, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 32 people in an attack on the provincial branch of the national statistics department in the district of Imam Sahib. The Afghan civilians were waiting for ID cards. Several women and children were killed in the blast.

On Feb. 10, a suicide bomber killed the district governor of Chardara and six other people. The district is a known haven for the Taliban and an allied group, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

On Oct. 8, 2010, a Taliban suicide bomber killed Governor Muhammad Omar as he worshiped in a mosque in neighboring Takhar province. Omar had been vocal in his opposition to the Taliban, and had consistently warned of the spread of the Taliban and allied terror groups in the Afghan north.

Coalition and Afghan forces have been heavily targeting the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan’s networks in the Afghan north over the past year. The latest raid took place just yesterday in the district of Burkah in neighboring Baghlan province, which ISAF described in a press release as “a Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan safe haven.” In that raid, security forces detained “numerous suspected insurgents.” [For more information on the special operations raids in the Afghan north, see LWJ report, ISAF kills, captures IMU leaders in Afghan north, and Threat Matrix report, ISAF targets another IMU commander in Baghlan.]


Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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1 Comment

  • ArneFufkin says:

    The Germans are the lead ISAF coalition partner in Kunduz Province. One wonders if they employ restrictive ROEs that have contributed to the rise of violence and Taliban activity there.


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