воскресенье, 9 ноября 2014 г.

3 Explosions Rock Afghan Capital After Months of Calm

By Matthew Rosenberg and Jawad Sukhanyar


Three blasts on Sunday morning punctured months of relative calm in Kabul, with the Taliban carrying out at least two attacks, including a suicide bombing inside the city’s heavily fortified police headquarters that reportedly targeted senior officials there.

The toll from the attacks, which took place over the course of a few hours, appeared limited, with Afghan officials saying the sole person killed was a senior police official, and that at least seven people had been wounded. But officials said they were still assessing the situation and that the number of dead or wounded could rise.

Yet even if the casualty count remains low, the attacks once again served notice to Afghan and Western officials that the Taliban’s bombers could infiltrate even the most well-guarded parts of a city where Afghanistan’s security forces and the American-led coalition have poured tremendous resources into thwarting insurgent plots.

The bombing at the police headquarters that reverberated through the city around 9 a.m. was the most brazen of Sunday’s attacks. Ebadullah Karimi, a spokesman for the police in Kabul, said a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives inside the headquarters building.

Mr. Karimi offered no additional details before rushing off the phone, saying that he was at the hospital aiding people wounded in the attack.

But a police official said that a man in a police uniform had made his way past numerous checkpoints where he was supposed to have been searched, and appeared outside the office of the city’s police chief, Gen. Zahir Zahir.

Whether the man was a police officer or an impostor was unclear. But when he asked to see General Zahir, he was sent into the office of the general’s chief of staff, Col. Mohammad Yassin. Once inside, the bomber detonated his explosives, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Colonel Yassin was killed along with the bomber, and four other people in the room at the time were wounded, the official said. He added that the authorities had already begun investigating how the bomber managed to get past security and into the heart of the police headquarters complex without anyone discovering his explosives.

A few hours earlier, about an hour after dawn, a hidden bomb believed to have been planted by insurgents detonated near a bus carrying soldiers, said Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.

He said there were no army casualties, though it was unclear if civilians had been killed or wounded, as is often the case when hidden bombs are detonated in crowded areas. Dr. Noor-ul-Haq Yousafzai, who works at Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul, said a 10-year-old boy admitted on Sunday appeared to have been wounded in the attack on the bus.

Later in the morning, just over an hour after the blast at the police headquarters, a third explosion could be heard in Kabul, but where it took place and whether it was another bomb remained unclear.

Before the third blast, Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the insurgents were behind the attacks on the army bus and the police headquarters. Mr. Mujahid said the attack on police headquarters was carried out by a man named Maulvi Yahya Badakhshani.


He added that there were foreign advisers present at the time of the bombing, and that they, too, had sustained casualties. But the American-led coalition said it had no reports that any of its people were there when the bombing took place.


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