A Taliban suicide bomber penetrated security at the Afghan Ministry of Defense in Kabul today, killing two Afghan soldiers and wounding several aides to top Afghan officials in a gunfight before he was able to detonate his vest. The suicide bombing is the ninth such attack in Afghanistan in the past five days.
The suicide bomber, who was wearing an Afghan Army uniform and carried military identification papers, was able to get past several layers of security and enter the main building of the Ministry of Defense in the Afghan capital. Al Jazeera and other outlets claimed that three suicide bombers were involved in the attack, but the reports have not been confirmed.
The bomber reached the third floor of the Ministry of Defense and came close to the Afghan defense minister’s inner circle. He was stopped by Afghan soldiers and then opened fire, killing two troops. According to reports, an and a bodyguard to the defense minister, and the secretary of the Army Chief of Staff were among the seven people wounded in the attack.
The Taliban claimed credit for the attack in a statement released on their website, Voice of Jihad. The Taliban said the failed suicide bomber was named Asadullah and was a “resident of Panjshir who had been in the puppet army for the last three years.”
According to the Taliban, the suicide bomber targeted senior Afghan, US, and French military officers and officials, including France’s Defense Minister. The Taliban claimed that 18 people were killed in the attack, including “4 key foreign top-level figures were killed and 22 more were severely injured.” The Taliban wildly inflate casualties in their press releases on a daily basis.
The Taliban have stepped up their suicide campaign in Afghanistan over the past week. The Afghan security personnel have been hit hardest as the Taliban seek to break the will of the nascent forces.
Today’s attack is the fourth that has targeted Afghan and international forces at bases throughout the country in the past five days. Two of the attacks were carried out by Taliban members who infiltrated the Afghan security forces. On April 16, an Afghan soldier detonated a suicide vest during a meeting inside a training facility in Laghman province, killing five ISAF and four Afghan soldiers. ISAF has confirmed that the suicide bomber was indeed an Afghan soldier.
On April 15, a Taliban suicide bomber from the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz, or Mullah Dadullah Front, assassinated the chief of police for Kandahar province and killed two of his bodyguards. The suicide bomber was dressed as a policeman and detonated after hugging the police chief in his office.
And on April 14, a Taliban suicide assault team killed three policemen in an attack at a training facility in Paktia.
The Taliban have also targeted police, government officials, civilians, and pro-government tribal leaders in five other attacks during the same time period. On April 14, three people were wounded in a suicide attack outside a government building in Kabul; and another was wounded in an attack that targeted police in Kandahar. And on April 13, the Taliban carried out three suicide attacks. The largest attack occurred in Kunar province, when a suicide bomber killed an influential pro-government tribal leader and warlord, along with nine other Afghans. In addition, 13 Afghans were wounded in suicide attacks in Kandahar and Kapisa.
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