Taliban claims Kabul suicide assault near Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense

Taliban-Kandahar-suicide-assault-team-1

The Taliban claimed credit for today’s suicide assault near the Afghan Ministry of Defense in Kabul that killed more than 20 people, including Army and police officials. The attack is the latest in a string of deadly assaults in the capital city over the past several months.

The attack began as the Taliban detonated “a remote-controlled Improvised Explosive Device” outside the Ministry of Defense, according to TOLONews. As first responders gathered at the scene of the first bombing, a Taliban suicide bomber who is believed to have been wearing an Afghan National Army uniform detonated his explosives.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Muhajid claimed the twin bombings on his official Twitter feed and confirmed local press reports that an IED blast was followed by a suicide bomber, or “martyr attack.”

“Powerful blast followed by martyr attack hit enemy in gate of MoD [Ministry of Defense] building as they were leaving duties afternoon today,” Muhajid claimed. He also said that that 58 Afghan security personnel “including Gen. Raziq Panjsheri, PD2 [Kabul Police District 2] commander and his deputy and two guards” of President Ashraf Ghani.

Afghan officials estimated that 24 people were killed and 91 more were wounded. While the Taliban routinely exaggerate the number of people killed in its attacks, Muhajid’s account that senior officials were killed was bolstered by press reports.

“Among the dead are Sayed Zaman, the police chief for PD2, and Razaq, the deputy chief of support for the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) Regiment Unit. Also killed were Zaman’s deputy and the head of the intelligence unit for PD2. A number of other senior police officials are also among the dead,” TOLONews reported.

Kabul has been the scene of several high-profile attacks over the summer. The last attack, on Aug. 24, took place at American University in Kabul. Two gunmen breached an outer wall after exploding a bomb, and killed seven student and five security personnel before being killed by Afghan commandos. Neither the Taliban nor the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attack.

On July 23, the Islamic State claimed a double suicide attack that targeted Hazara as they were protesting in the capital. Scores of civilians were killed and more than 200 were wounded in the deadly attack, which was quickly denounced by the Taliban.

On June 30, the Taliban claimed credit for an attack in Kabul that was similar to today’s assault. A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying police cadets as it traveled in the capital. As first responders arrived at the scene of the attack, a second suicide bomber detonated his explosives during the rescue effort.

Ten days prior, a Taliban suicide bomber targeted a bus in the capital, and killed 23 people, including 14 Nepali security guards. The bus was carrying individuals who worked at the Canadian embassy.

The latest attacks in Kabul took place as the Taliban has sustained an offensive in northern, southern, eastern, and western Afghanistan. The Taliban offensive, dubbed Operation Omari after its founder and first emir, Mullah Omar, has strained Afghanistan’s struggling security forces. Several districts have fallen under Taliban control over the past year.

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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5 Comments

  • Baldurdasche says:

    While these are mere pinpricks and signify little aside from an on-going Taliban presence and ability to get into Kabul with weapons, the bombings – in isolation- don’t mount up to much at all. What they do, is tie-down security forces – at high states of alert – and indicate to the general public that they are, potentially, not all that safe.

    Going on year 16, they are a rather large red flag that, not only does the struggle continue, the Taliban are driving it. Considering the size of the contending forces, they are another sign that things are still not well in the nation-building or national security programs. They lend the worry to it’s western allies that Afghanistan is still nowhere near able to being able to ‘stand on its own.

    Long war indeed. Mr Roggio has grown from a young to a middle aged mad limning it. He could still be doing that in another 16 years, if his dotage doesn’t overtake him.

  • irebukeu says:

    …and if we did as the military glory seekers of society want us to (go in deep with 100K and for the long haul) it would be OUR troops guarding important Afghan ministries. It would be AMERICAN checkpoints blown up by these no-fashion illiterate idiots. Look at that picture. They look like the hail-bop cult. Do they each have identical amounts of money in their pockets?
    Over thirty five hundreds of Americans-most under Obama’s watch, killed so far in this bottomless grave. Over 20,000 known wounded, some of them horribly so. all of them by idiots that look these people. What would be the cost in lives if Americans were still studded all over the nation? How many more Sangins , Marjahs are waiting for us to figure out their inner working and politics, with every mistake costing one American life?
    How many more have to die before we abandon the cause? We will abandon the cause, that we do know in our hearts. The cause will be abandoned. Let’s not pretend-either those on the left or on the right that the cause will be permanently maintained. The cause in this case being the hope for a puppet stooge government in Afghanistan. Independant looking but worked directly by the hand or indirectly by the string. The one we assume we paid for in American blood. The one the politicians promised was there if we would only give our votes to help gain it and now to maintain it.
    The political parties in America, use the war as a political cudgel to beat the other side with, in view of a laughing, adoring and entertained public. They gather donations from those who do work while promising things to those who do not. Politics seems to be a form of entertainment in America. Bread and Circus. Either Obama’s half in half out approach or Mitt Romney’s hilarious call for a civilian surge into Afghanistan, the war is just a political sideshow where success or failure is just another callback point to be used in the next discussion about how bad the other party is-why they cannot be trusted with American lives, reputation and power. The lives lost in the meantime is just another cudgel to beat the other party with. The destroyed families, fatherless or motherless children are summed up as “gold stars” and left at that. pushed to the side if their opinions do not line up 100% with the machine. Used as props if they do.
    There are those from the civilian world who are willing to step forward into danger, who step out from other civilians to defend this nation either by tradition, honor, constitutional love, quest for glory and ingroup status or for whatever reason, they join the military and serve. These people, for good cause, are respected by the greater group of civilians who have other callings in life or perhaps as they see it, safer things to do than shoot guns and face possible danger. Most if not all join to defend the nation yet wind up often executing the foreign policy of the particular political party in power at the time they serve.
    The American civilian voting public-being the responsible group for the safety and security of those soldiers and knowing that the larger group of all civilians raises these soldiers above others and bathes them in adoration and semi-fame while themselves having a tendency to be forgetful and easily distracted, have a responsibility to not just throw these men and women into the meatgrinder and forget them but to protect them and conserve them in case of extreme emergency and a need for national defense.
    Phrases like “These colors don’t run” or “Support our troops” while making great bumper stickers are terrible policies.
    Protecting a stooge government in Afghanistan is neither an extreme emergency nor needed for national defense. The government there will fail. The nation will be engaged in a civil war and be manipulated by a proxy war for the foreseeable future. Sectionalism, factionalism, ethnic, religious and tribal differences will tear that nation apart.

    At this point only the ‘sober’ and interested American voter will be able to find new candidates interested in turning the American car around . Our current crop of politicians do not support it. They keeping driving blind and ‘drunk’ without ever seeming to run off the road.
    The deaths of American soldiers in far away lands over a 15 year span-the longest war in American history, is squarely the responsibility of the American voter who by now should realize the ineptness and shortsightedness of politicians and even their own short attention spans and lack of understanding and inability to master the forces at play in this land of the Afghans.
    It is time to end this failed mission. Declare it a success of course and then leave. Skip out in the night if need be.
    The path back to America for these soldiers is straight and narrow and looks increasingly like its path is through the eye of a needle. No politician ‘drunk’ with power and ambition will thread that needle. The road to their destruction either by attrition or flashover events is wide and open.
    In the 2016 election another ‘drunk’ so to speak, is about to get behind the wheel.
    Stories like this one on the LWJ today will be plenty. Let us hope Americans can stay clear of the carnage.
    Staying out of the failed nation of Afghanistan is still the best way to stay out of the carnage.

  • Ghost says:

    Pakistan is a terrorist Factory… This will never end they’re not about to run out of manpower. They are turning out terrorist like sausages. 50000 Islamic madrasas. We can stay there for next hundred years it will never end unless Pakistan wanted to end. Wasting blood and treasure.

  • Arjuna says:

    “Pakistan’s continued support to the Taliban manifests its decades-old strategy of seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan. Both managed instability and/or a de-facto partitioning of the country are preferable to Pakistan than a united, prosperous and independent Afghanistan.”
    Refreshingly honest for Al Jazeera!
    //www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/09/afghanistan-heading-civil-war-worse-160905125100447.html

  • Lamdep says:

    Mr Roggio has grown from a young to a middle aged mad limning it. He could still be doing that in another 16 years, if his dotage doesn’t overtake him.

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