Thirty civilians have been killed in three separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan within the span of two days, officials said on Sunday, blaming the attacks on the Taliban as the militants intensify their summer offensive.
At least 18 people were killed and six wounded on Sunday in a suicide car bomb attack near a military base in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost, where Afghan and foreign soldiers are stationed, authorities said.
The bomber detonated the explosives at a military roadblock near the entrance to Camp Chapman, said Faizullah Ghairat, the Khost city police chief.
Authorities were unable to say if troops were among the casualties. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban have often targeted Afghan and foreign troops.
“We counted 18 dead and six wounded,” said a doctor at a hospital in the city. However, Ghairat put the toll at 25 dead and 16 wounded.
In an earlier incident, at least two civilians were killed and four civilians and two policemen wounded when a police vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Kunduz city, said provincial police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Husseini.
On Saturday, a roadside bomb ripped through a passenger van in Tagab district of Kapisa, an often restive province in the mountains east of the Afghan capital Kabul, killing 10 civilians and wounding six others, provincial officials said.
“A civilian van travelling from Kabul to Alasay district of Kapisa hit a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban,” said Qais Qaderi, a spokesman for the provincial governor. “Ten civilians, all men, were killed. Three children and three women were wounded.”
Abdul Karim Fayeq, the provincial police chief, confirmed the incident and blamed the Taliban for the blast. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but roadside bombs have been the Taliban’s weapon of choice in their war against foreign and Afghan security forces, now in its 14th year. The bombs also increasingly kill and wound civilians.
Mohammad Hussain Sanjari, head of the provincial council of Kapisa, said the wounded civilians were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The insurgents launched a countrywide offensive in late April, stepping up attacks on government and foreign targets in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.