Taliban Claims Twin Bombings Near Afghan Defense Ministry

At least 24 killed, 91 wounded
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2016 10:00 AM CDT
2 Bombings Kill 24 Near Afghan Defense Ministry
Afghan soldiers inspect the site of a suicide attack In Kabul near Afghanistan's Defense Ministry on Monday.   (Rahmat Gul)

(Newser) – Twin bombings near the Afghan Defense Ministry have killed at least 24 people, including two security force generals, in an attack claimed by the Taliban, the AP reports. A Public Health Ministry spokesman says another 91 people were wounded in Monday's attack in central Kabul; Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says a district police chief and five other police officers were among those killed. A Defense Ministry spokesman, who says the second bombing was caused by a suicide attacker who struck the area of the first blast after security forces gathered there, adds the attack took place as ministry employees were leaving their offices for the day. A senior police investigator says the suicide attacker was wearing a military uniform.

Dozens of ambulances raced to the scene after the blasts, and security forces blocked off roads leading to the area. A 34-year-old witness describes the scene of chaos he witnessed. "The second explosion was so strong, and many people, including security officials, were killed and wounded," he says. President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack in a statement, 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." Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says his group had carried out the attack. The insurgents have been fighting to overthrow the US-backed government for 15 years, and they frequently target Afghan security forces. (A video of a US mom held captive in Afghanistan recently emerged.)

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