Taliban Hit Back as Series of Attacks in Kabul Leave At Least 50 Dead

A wave of attacks on Afghan army and police bases and American special forces in Kabul has killed at least 50 people.

Published: 09th August 2015 08:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2015 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

WASHINGTON: A wave of attacks on Afghan army and police bases and American special forces in Kabul has killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds, during the deadliest day in Kabul for years.

The attacks, on Friday, have dimmed hopes that the Taliban might have been weakened by a power struggle following their long-time leader's death.

Buildings close to Camp Integrity - the US special forces' base - were flattened by the explosion and damaged during a gunfight lasting several hours.

Helicopters flew in to rescue the injured - which included three Americans, according to the Wall Street Journal. A US Army spokesman would confirm only that two insurgents were killed.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama said the US condemned the attack "in the strongest terms".

The bloodshed began on Friday shortly after midnight, with a truck bomb that exploded in a heavily populated district of the capital, killing at least 15 and wounding 250. Then a suicide bomber dressed in police uniform attacked a police academy, killing dozens of students.

Foreign troops were involved in a gun battle near the Counternarcotics Ministry, reportedly sealing off the building and taking over from their Afghan colleagues.

The day's violence ended with the battle at Camp Integrity, which led to one Nato soldier and eight civilian contractors being killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for both the police academy attack and the battle at the US special forces base, although not for the truck bomb.

The Nato member's death at Camp Integrity marked the second of an international service member in Afghanistan this year, after most foreign troops withdrew at the end of last year. The service member's nationality was not released.

There have been almost 5,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the first half of the year, UN figures show.

Analysts said the series of attacks conveyed a no-compromise message from the Taliban, after last week's revelation of Mullah Mohammad Omar's death and an ongoing dispute over leadership of the radical Islamist group.

"The question is 'who is sending the message?'?" said Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

"The hope of some people was that the death of Mullah Omar would put the Taliban in disarray and possibly weaken them.

"I think that was a little over-optimistic."


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