By M. Sadiq Yousafi-KABUL: The death toll from the Tuesday’s deadliest Taliban attack incapital Kabul jumped to 64, and the number of injured persons to 347, several of them still in hospitals under treatment, according to security officials.
“With regrets to announce in yesterday’s (Tuesday) attack, 64 of our innocent countrymen had been killed and 347 were injured, most of them civilians” Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Some of injured still need to be under treatment in various hospitals of the capital” he said.
The deadly attack which damaged shops and houses as far as hundreds meters away in the capital was carried out by Pakistan-based Haqqani terrorist network, Umar Azizi, Chief of the National Directorate of Security for capital Kabul told newsmen on Wednesday.
“Initial investigation suggests Haqqani Network was behind this attack and the network was instructed and directed from abroad” apparently referring to Pakistan, the official said, adding such attacks take months to be planned and implemented by the terrorist groups.
However, Sediqi informed that an investigation by high-ranking officials has been working to determine the dark sides of the incident, which is the deadliest since 2011 and the first since militants announced their spring offensives.
Primary investigation suggests that terrorists used a mini-truck, full of potent explosives, to target the back-wall of the Directorate-10, a special unit of the Afghan forces providing security for the high-ranking Afghan officials.
A Taliban bomber after the blast entered to the compound and engaged with security forces for several minutes before to be killed by the Special Forces.
Taliban claimed a third bomber succeeded to return back to his fellows alive after several hours of fighting with security forces, a claim which is not yet confirmed by the Afghan officials.
The militants also claimed that around 100 employees of the special unit were killed and more than hundred injured, although Taliban exaggerate in providing casualties of the Afghan forces in their attacks.
Sources say during the attack some personnel of the special unit was under training and most of the casualties were imposed by the powerful blast.
The deadly attack which was condemned by the United Nations, NATO forces in Afghanistan and several other national and international institutions also sparked anger of the Afghan officials. President, Ashraf Ghani, while visiting injured persons few hours after the attack in hospitals warned to revenge “each drop of blood” of the victims from the perpetrators “who sever for others.”
“Every day Afghans and I raised voice for peace and reconciliation. But Allah enjoins upon us to stand united and firm against those attacking us,” a statement from his press office quoted the president, as saying.
Afghan Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah among suspicions whether the attack was planned in Pakistan “postponed” his official visit to Islamabad, which was scheduled to be taken place on 2nd and 3rd May at the official invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
His office said the visit was planned to discuss mutual issues including peace and security between the two countries.
The blow was the first coordinated attack by the Taliban, since they launched their so-called spring offensives “Operation Omari” which has been repelled in dozens of the Afghan provinces by security forces, according to officials.
“This attack by militants was to revenge their clear defeat in battlefields in Kunduz and several other provinces, where they suffered heavy casualties” Sediqi said.