September 5, 2016
ISLAMABAD — A suicide bomber in a police uniform detonated his device near the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul Monday, killing at least 24 people and wounding more than 90 others. Afghanistan’s Tolo TV reported that the ministry’s senior commander, General Abdul Raziq, along with the intelligence chief for the capital city and a district police chief, were among those killed.
Witnesses say the attack happened as the victims inspected the site of an earlier small blast caused by another device that had been planted on the site.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the insurgents were behind Monday’s attack, claiming it killed around 60 people, mostly personnel of the Afghan security forces, although the insurgent group often issues inflated tolls for such attacks.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bloodshed, saying, “The enemies of Afghanistan have lost their ability to fight the security and defense forces of the country and thus attack highways, cities, mosques, schools and common people.”
The Kabul attack came as Afghan security forces on Monday retook control of a key district from the Taliban in the volatile northern province of Kunduz.
Area commanders say the insurgents were forced to retreat from Qala-i-Zal after security forces backed by air support staged an early morning assault on the district that the insurgents overran about a month ago.
The insurgent group has not yet commented on the government claims.
The Taliban has stepped up its campaign of violence and battlefield attacks, including heavy casualties on the security forces.
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said last week that more than 900 Afghan soldiers and police personnel were killed in July alone.
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