Fuel tanker bombing in Parwan kills 12 Afghan civilians

The Taliban or one of their allies appear to have come close to blowing up a fuel tanker at the Bagram Airbase in Parwan province. The fuel tanker exploded prematurely outside of the base, killing Afghan civilians. From the BBC:

At least 12 people have been killed and 33 injured in a fuel tanker explosion in northern Afghanistan, officials say.

About 60-70 people arrived to steal fuel leaking from the tanker after a magnetised bomb blew a hole in it, a spokesman for Parwan province said.

The tanker then burst into flames in a second explosion.

Parwan province Governor, Basir Salangi, said it was a “terrorist attack” and the aim had been to blow up the tanker at Bagram air base.

The vehicle was only a few kilometres from the airfield when the blast occurred on Tuesday at around 19:30 (15:30 GMT).

Several groups are known to operate in Parwan. A senior Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin media emir named Farid who was involved in suicide attacks in Kabul as well as publishing propaganda at the Taliban’s Voice of Jihad website, and a HIG military commander, were captured in Parwan in February. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed that the 2010 attack on Bagram Airbase was executed “in coordination and cooperation with other jihadi groups” whose members included “Turks, Tajiks, Arabs, Pashtuns, and Afghans.” And the Taliban also operate in Parwan.

The Taliban and allied groups appear to be attempting to carry out major operations in the provinces just north of Kabul. Today’s bombing is the third major attack in Parwan since the beginning of August. On Aug. 14, a Taliban suicide assault team launched a complex attack on the governor’s compound in central Parwan province, killing 22 people, including six policemen. And on Oct. 23, a suicide bomber attempted to assassinate the Afghan interior minister in the province. A little farther north, on Oct. 15, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan executed a suicide attack at the US Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Panjshir that killed two Afghan civilians and wounded two security guards.

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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