May 2017 Kabul attack

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May 2017 Kabul attack
Part of War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
May 2017 Kabul attack is located in Afghanistan
May 2017 Kabul attack
May 2017 Kabul attack (Afghanistan)
May 2017 Kabul attack is located in Kabul
May 2017 Kabul attack
May 2017 Kabul attack (Kabul)
Location Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul, Afghanistan[1]
Date 31 May 2017
08:25 AM (UTC+04:30)
Attack type
Truck bomb
Deaths 150+[2]
Non-fatal injuries
413+
Suspected perpetrators
Haqqani Network

On 31 May 2017, a truck bomb exploded in a crowded intersection in Kabul, Afghanistan, near the German embassy at about 08:25 local time (03:55 GMT) during rush hour,[3] killing over 150 and injuring 413,[4] mostly civilians, and damaging several buildings in the embassy.[5][6][7] The attack was the deadliest terror attack to take place in Kabul. The diplomatic quarter—in which the attack took place—is one of the most heavily fortified areas in the city, with 3-meter-tall (10 ft) blast walls, and access requires passing through several checkpoints.[3][7] The explosion created a crater about 4.5 m (15 ft) wide and 3–4 m (10–13 ft) deep.[8] Afghanistan's intelligence agency NDS claimed that the blast was planned by the Haqqani Network.[9][10] Although no group has claimed responsibility, the Afghan Taliban are also a suspect but they have denied involvement and condemned the attack.[11][12]

Background[edit]

Kabul is held by the NATO-supported Afghan Government, though both the Taliban and Islamic State were able to launch destructive attacks on the capital in the preceding months.

Referring to the wider conflict, in April the Taliban announced a new offensive, saying their main focus would be foreign forces.[13] The United States has been considering sending additional troops to Afghanistan to help stabilize the country.[7]

Attack[edit]

A vacuum truck was filled with about 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) of explosives and then detonated near the German embassy.[14] The blast occurred at 08:25 local time, during rush hour, at one of the busiest areas of Kabul: near Zanbaq Square next to the German embassy.[15] At least 90 people were killed and 400 injured.[16] Afghan President Ashraf Ghani later updated this total, stating, "Over 150 entirely innocent Afghan sons and daughters were killed and more than three hundred were brought to hospital with burns, lacerations, and amputations."[17] The blast was said to have done damage 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away. The blast created a crater over 9 m (30 ft) deep.[18] The majority of the victims were civilians.[16] Casualties included Mohammed Nazir a driver for BBC News, a staff member of Tolo News, a female German diplomat and an Afghan security guard for the German embassy.[19]

Injuries were reported among the Japanese[6] and German diplomatic missions.[16] Various embassies[which?] sustained damage to their buildings.[16][8]

Responsibility[edit]

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Both the Taliban and Islamic State had claimed responsibility for earlier Kabul bombings in 2017, although the former issued a statement denying responsibility for the attack.[3][16] The National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed that the blast was planned by the Afghan insurgent group Haqqani Network, and reiterated allegations that those elements had support and presence across the border in Pakistan.[10] Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nafees Zakaria rejected the Afghan allegations as "baseless".[20]

Aftermath[edit]

June anti-government protest

Anti-government protests broke out in response to the May 31 bombing, with protesters continuing their ongoing complaints about the lack of security provided by government forces in dealing with insurgents and terrorist attacks. They demanded removal of President Ashraf Ghani's shaky government and pushed for formation of an interim administration, at least partly for its failure to stop the attacks. The protesters chanted anti-American and anti-Pakistani slogans, demanded execution of militant inmates and accused the government of being too lenient in the fight against the insurgents. The June 2 protest became violent after some demonstrators continued moving forward after entreaties by police to stop several hundred meters away from the presidential palace, witnesses said. Security forces opened fire and used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd. At least five demonstrators died and another 15 were wounded; the son of deputy head of Senate Salim Ezadyar, was one of those killed.[21][22]

Funeral bombing

On June 3, following the death of deputy head of Senate Salim Ezadyar's son at the Kabul anti-government protest the previous day, his funeral took place. This funeral proceeded as scheduled despite authorities warning that militants could target any gathering as they had done the year before. During the funeral, three consecutive explosions took place, killing at least 18 Afghans and wounding dozens more. No immediate claim of responsibility for the attack was made.

Reactions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

International[edit]

  •  Canada: Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland stated that "the timing of this cowardly attack during the holy month of Ramadan was deliberate" and Canada "will never cease in our efforts to prevent violent extremism and to bring perpetrators of such violence to justice."[26]
  •  Georgia: President Giorgi Margvelashvili issued a statement offering "condolences to the families of the killed ones" and saying he would "stand by the people and the government of Afghanistan."[27]
  •  Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack and stated that "terrorism has no borders." The German Federal Government stated they would temporarily suspend deportations of failed asylum seekers to Afghanistan.[23]
  •  India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated: "India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated."[28][29] Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said its embassy staff were safe.[6]
  •  Indonesia: Speaking on behalf of the Indonesian Government, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi condemned the attack and stated that they wished for the quick recovery of the victims of the attack. The ministry later released an emergency hotline for relatives of Indonesians living in Kabul.[30]
  •  Iran: Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi condemned the attacks and stated that "Iran will always stand with its neighbor, Afghanistan, in hard times" and that "Terrorist attacks, anywhere and with any motive or in any shape, are shameful and must be condemned".[31]
  •  Malaysia: The Government expressed its deep sorrow at the senseless act of violence and voiced its hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice quickly. The Malaysian government also extends its deepest condolences and sympathies to the Government of Afghanistan and to the bereaved families.[32]
  •  Pakistan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement extending "heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences" and condemning "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" and stated that Pakistan firmly stands "with our Afghan brothers in this hour of grief and anguish."[33]

Other statements of condemnation were reported from UN Secretary-General António Guterres[34] and the US embassy in Kabul.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abed, Mujib Mashal, Fahim; Sukhanyar, Jawad (31 May 2017). "Deadly Bombing in Kabul Is One of the Afghan War's Worst Strikes". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Kabul truck-bomb toll rises to more than 150 killed: Afghan president | Reuters". Reuters. 
  3. ^ a b c "Kabul bomb: Dozens killed in Afghan capital's diplomatic zone". BBC News. 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Mashal, Mujib; Abed, Fahim (31 May 2017). "Huge Bombing in Kabul Is One of Afghan War's Worst". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "RS Claims Police Stopped Truck From Entering Green Zone". Tolonews. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c "Kabul blast: At least 80 killed & over 350 wounded in explosion in Afghan capital's embassy district". RT International. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c CNN, Ehsan Popalzai and Faith Karimi. "Afghanistan explosion: 80 killed in blast near diplomatic area". CNN. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Explosion in diplomatic row of Kabul kills 90, wounds hundreds". CBC News. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Kabul bomb: Afghans blame Haqqani and Pakistan". Sky News. 
  10. ^ a b Gul, Ayaz. "Deadly Truck Bomb Rocks Kabul". VOA. 
  11. ^ Rasmussen, Sune Engel (31 May 2017). "Kabul: at least 150 killed by massive car bomb in diplomatic quarter". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Kabul blast: Taliban denies involvement, condemns attack on civilians". Firstpost. 31 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Afghan Taliban announce spring offensive". BBC News. 28 April 2017. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  14. ^ Sune Engel Rasmussen (31 May 2017). "Kabul: at least 80 killed by massive car bomb in diplomatic quarter". Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Mashal, Mujib; Abed, Fahim (31 May 2017). "Kabul Bombing Kills at Least 80, Shaking City Center". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Kabul bomb: Diplomatic zone attack kills dozens". BBC. 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  17. ^ Amy Held (6 June 2017). "Death Toll In Kabul Blast Surpasses 150, Afghan President Says". NPR.org. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "At least 90 killed, 400 wounded after car bomb goes off in Kabul". The Hays Daily News. 1 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "Afghanistan blast: BBC driver killed and four journalists injured after huge car bomb kills at least 80 in Kabul's diplomatic quarter". Telegraph. 1 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Afghanistan blames Pakistan and Taliban for Kabul blast". www.aljazeera.com. 
  21. ^ "At least 18 Afghans killed as multiple blasts target funeral for protester in Kabul". www.washingtonpost.com. 
  22. ^ "Amnesty International Calls For Probe Into Shooting Of Protestors". Tolonews. 2 June 2017. 
  23. ^ a b c "Kabul bomb: Afghan leader condemns 'cowardly' attack". BBC. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "Post attack, Afghanistan cancels friendly matches with Pakistan". news.webindia123.com. 
  25. ^ "After Kabul bombing, Afghanistan ends all cricket ties with Pakistan". The Economic Times. 1 June 2017. 
  26. ^ "Statement by Foreign Affairs Minister on bombing in Kabul". canada.ca. Government of Canada. 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ Agenda.ge (31 May 2017). ""Horrific and appalling": Georgia reacts to Kabul blast". Agenda.ge. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  28. ^ "Huge bomb blast kills dozens, wounds hundreds in Afghan capital". Reuters. 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  29. ^ Modi, Narendra [@narendramodi] (30 May 2017). "India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated" (Tweet). Retrieved 31 May 2017 – via Twitter. 
  30. ^ "Indonesia Kecam Bom Kabul di Kedubes Jerman dan Perancis". Kompas (in Bahasa Indonesia). 31 May 2017. 
  31. ^ "واکنش‌های جهانی در مورد انفجار اخیر کابل". رادیو آزادی. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  32. ^ "Malaysia condemns Kabul suicide attack". The Star. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  33. ^ "Pakistan Condemns Terror Attack in Kabul". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan). Government of Pakistan. 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  34. ^ "Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on attack in Afghanistan". United Nations. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.