February 16, 2017
The United Arab Emirates says its ambassador to Afghanistan has died of injuries he sustained in a last-month bomb attack in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar.
The UAE state media announced Juma Mohammad Abdullah al-Kaabi’s death on Thursday. He had been targeted in a spate of bomb attacks in three Afghan cities that killed 57 people, including five UAE diplomats.
Kaabi, who was leading a delegation to the provincial governor’s office at the time of the attack, was returned to the UAE on a military plane two days after the incident.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for two other attacks in Kabul and Lashkar Gah, but they did not assume responsibility for the Kandahar attack that killed the UAE diplomat.
The UAE has had good relations with the Taliban and it was among the three governments that recognized the Taliban administration in Kabul between 1996 and 2001.
Provincial police chief of Kandahar Abdul Raziq accused the Haqqani network, a group allied with the Taliban, of launching the attack.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement, expressing sorrow over the UAE envoy’s death.
“The UAE ambassador and his colleagues paid the ultimate sacrifice in promoting peace and development in Afghanistan to be remembered forever,” the statement said.
Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
Taliban militants lost their grip over Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion, but security has never taken hold in the country despite the presence of foreign boots on the Afghan soil. During the past 15 years, the militant group has been conducting terrorist attacks across the country, killing and displacing civilians. They are reportedly in control of some areas in the country.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, operating mainly in Syria and Iraq, has also gained a foothold in Afghanistan and is competing with Taliban in acts of terror.
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