By: Ayaz Gul
Source: VOA News
ISLAMABAD – A third blast rocked Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, late Monday, after a suicide bomber in a police uniform killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 90 others earlier in the day.
Authorities said they were trying to pin down the location of the third blast, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility from any militant group.
Hours earlier, a suicide bomber detonated his device near the Afghan Defense Ministry as crowds gathered to inspect the site after an earlier small blast caused by another device.
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.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the insurgents were behind Monday’s attack, claiming they 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 hours after security forces 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 the forces, backed by air support, staged an early morning assault on the district that the insurgents overran about a month ago.
The Taliban has stepped up its campaign of violence and battlefield attacks, inflicting 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.