October 15, 2017
Afghan authorities say they have foiled a potentially deadly blast in the capital, Kabul, after seizing a truck loaded with explosives.
The Interior Ministry said on October 15 that police officers shot and wounded the driver of the vehicle after he failed to stop at a security checkpoint.
“The driver was wounded and the truck stopped” in the incident late on October 14, a statement said.
Mohamed Salem Almas, the head of criminal investigations in the Kabul police, said that the truck was carrying more than 2,700 kilograms of explosives.
Almas added that the Haqqani network, a group that has ties to the Afghan Taliban, was behind the attack, which he said was to be carried out in a crowded part of the city.
Security has been ramped up in Kabul since a massive truck bomb ripped through the city’s diplomatic quarter on May 31, killing about 150 people and wounding hundreds of others, mostly civilians.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack — the deadliest in the city since 2001 – but the government blamed the Haqqani network for the bombing. Western officials said it was caused by more than 1,500 kilograms of explosives packed in a truck.
Despite the enhanced security measures, militants have continued to carry out deadly attacks in the capital.
On September 29, suicide attackers detonated a bomb near a large Shi’ite mosque in Kabul, killing at least six people as worshippers prepared to commemorate Ashura, the holiest celebration in the Shi’ite religious calendar. The extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Western-backed government in Kabul is struggling to beat back insurgents in the wake of the exit of most NATO forces in 2014.
The administration of President Donald Trump has recently unveiled a strategy to try to defeat the militants, and officials said more than 3,000 additional U.S. troops are being sent to the country to reinforce the 11,000 U.S. troops already stationed there.
With reporting by AP and AFP