As the Taliban threatens to retaliate against its leader’s death, Afghan civilians continue to pay the highest price.
A wave of attacks in Afghanistan has killed at least 23 people, with the Taliban claiming responsibility for at least two of the blasts.
On Monday morning, at least 14 Nepali security guards were killed after a suicide bomber hit a minibus in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, along the main road to the eastern city of Jalalabad, police said.
The attacker was on foot, police said, as they reported a number of casualties among the passengers who worked at the Canadian embassy.
.@CanEmbAFG confirms that today’s cowardly attack targeted our security company. Our thoughts with families and friends of victims.
— Canada in AFG (@CanEmbAFG) June 20, 2016
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on social media, saying it was “against the forces of aggression” in Afghanistan.
Less than three hours later, another attack in eastern Kabul targeting a politician killed at least one, injured the MP and wounded five others. The Taliban also claimed that attack.
A security official said a magnetic bomb planted on the vehicle of MP Ataullah Faizani was detonated in the Chel Siton area.
A third attack – a motorcyle bomb blast at a market in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan – killed at least eight people and wounded 18, and it is feared the death toll will rise. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Kabul, said after the first attack that “Afghan police told us they have reports that this kind of attack could happen again”.
The bus bombing was the first attack in Kabul since the start of holy fasting month of Ramadan on June 6. More than 24 ambulances attended the scene.
“Kabul had been quite peaceful during the first two weeks of Ramadan,” said our correspondent.
“But this is not the first such attack. Most of the time, the target they [the Taliban] take shows they have good intelligence and capability,” he added. “They want to show they can attack any target they want.”
The last attack in the Afghan capital on April 19 left 64 dead and more than 340 wounded.
That attack was claimed by the Taliban, which has fought the Western-backed Kabul government since the group were driven from power by a US-led invasion in late 2001.