Afghan Taliban claim responsibility for the attack on Counterpart International in Kabul

Published By ITCT News Desk On : May 8, 2019
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The explosion shook an upscale area of the Afghan capital on the third day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan [Reuters]

Afghanistan: A car bomb targeted an international aid organization in an upscale area of Kabul, the Afghan capital on Wednesday, the third day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, sending a plume of smoke and dust into the sky, security officials said.

Photo from the site shows several cars damaged

The attack targeted the office of non-profit Counterpart International in the Shahr Naw area of Kabul, they added.

The explosion was followed by an attack by inghimasi fighters who engaged security forces in a gun battle.

 

 

Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, confirmed the target of the attack was Counterpart International, an international organisation headquartered in the US that is operating in Afghanistan since 2005.

The organisation’s office building is located near the attorney general’s office in Shahr-e-Naw area in the centre of Kabul city.

A health ministry spokesperson, Wahidullah Mayar, said nine wounded people had been taken to hospital.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group attacked the organisation because it was involved in “harmful Western activities” inside Afghanistan, going on to level serious accusations against the organisation.

 

A detailed statement was later released by the Taliban, which contained exaggerated claim that 40 foreign advisers have been killed. As per Taliban claim, a tactical blast was used to break through the barriers and then three inghimasi fighters stormed the area.

Detailed statement by Taliban

 

A total of five people were killed and 24 injured in the attack, authorities said.

Just before noon local time on Wednesday, the attackers detonated an explosive-laden vehicle at the gates of non-governmental organization Counterpart International in the Afghan capital, said Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimy.
Four terrorists were able to enter the organization’s offices before Afghan special forces arrived, Rahimy said. During a nearly five-hour battle, all four were killed. Two hundred of the organization’s employees were rescued by Afghan forces. The death toll includes one woman and one special forces member.
Counterpart International is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and focuses on strengthening civil society and promoting social equality, according to its website. In a statement, the organization said it had worked in Afghanistan for 12 years and never faced a similar attack before.
The US has been in on-again, off-again peace talks with the Taliban for months. Yesterday, on May 7, the US Embassy in Kabul published a security alert on its website, advising US citizens that “attacks can occur at any time without warning,” and requesting that travelers avoid large crowds despite an “increased police presence” in the area.

 

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