In a brazen attack in broad daylight, the Taliban struck Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul killing 28 people and injuring over 300 on Tuesday.
Mourning the dead, President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning the attack.
“(We) condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Puli Mahmood Khan neighbourhood of Kabul, as a result of which many of our countrymen were martyred and wounded,” Ghani said.
“Such cowardly terrorist attacks will not weaken the will and determination of Afghan security forces to fight against terrorism,” Ghani said.
Breaking: Big explosion, smoke seen over embassy area in Kabul pic.twitter.com/enoZJ782Hq
— Josh Smith (@joshjonsmith) April 19, 2016
Unconfirmed numbers of Taliban terrorists struck the heart of Kabul in an area where offices of Afghanistan’s government, including the main spy agency NDS, are located.
Today’s terrorist attack near Pul-e-Mahmud Khan, #Kabul clearly shows the enemy’s defeat in face-to-face battle with ANSDF.
— ارگ (@ARG_AFG) April 19, 2016
“Many of those wounded are in serious condition,” ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi said.
“The first blast was carried out by a suicide bomber in a car and possibly one or two bombers are still resisting,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
The blasts were so severe that they rattled windows several kilometers away.
The Taliban has confirmed that it was indeed involved in the terror strike. A spokesman for the terror group said that the terrorists had managed to infiltrate offices of the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
But the Taliban had warned of such an attack last Tuesday terming it the ‘fighting season’ or ‘spring offensive’.
Is the Taliban not out of Afghanistan yet?
No. Despite the US-led Afghanistan invasion against the then ruling Taliban and the subsequent killing of Al Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden, the group survived in parts of the country.
Of late, Afghanistan has been struggling to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. But the terrorists have been attacking the government forces and establishments for months now.
Afghan forces have been failing before a resurgent Taliban. An estimated 5,500 troops were killed last year, the worst-ever toll.
Even the Indian consulate in the country came under attack from terrorists early this year.
— Kabir Haqmal (@Haqmal) April 19, 2016
A four-country group comprising Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan has been holding in vain meetings since January aimed at jump-starting negotiations.
In short, it is a continuous battle going on in Afghanistan.
Will this hurt India’s Afghanistan plans?
Can’t say as of now. Everything depends on how Afghanistan tackles the Taliban threat. Despite the obvious threat, India has been assisting in the redevelopment of Afghanistan.
On April 17, India, Iran and Afghanistan agreed to speed up the construction of the Chahabar port that will benefit the three countries economically and counter the threat posed by China’s expansion plans with the construction of Gwadar port in Pakistan.