Kabul, June 20 (IANS) Three separate blasts claimed 26 lives including those of two suicide bombers and 14 Nepalese nationals and injured more than 50 others in Afghanistan on Monday. The killings evoked strong condemnation.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a statement released by his office blamed the enemies of Afghanistan for the attacks, saying the terrorists by conducting subversive activities in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan want to terrorise the people.
In his message, the president also expressed sympathy with the families of the Nepalese and Afghan victims.
Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah denounced the deadly bombings by saying, “I condemn the terrorist attack on those travelling to their work places in Kabul this morning. This attack is an act of terror and intimidation.”
In a suicide attack which targeted the minibus of Nepalese nationals reportedly worked as guards at the Canadian embassy at 5.40 a.m. 14 Nepalese citizens were killed and nine others including four Afghans injured.
Both the Islamic State terrorist group and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bloodbath.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, said over 20 people were killed or wounded in the attack. It said its “fighters” carried out the operation.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “strongly condemned the horrible tragedy” and offered “deep condolences” to the governments and people of Afghanistan and Nepal.
Nepal reacted with grief and shock.
Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli said: “I am shocked to hear that 14 Nepalis were killed… I express my heartfelt condolences to their kin.”
He wished early recovery to those injured in the horrific incident.
Nepal has no embassy in Afghanistan. Its mission in Islamabad oversees the Afghan affairs.
The Nato-led Resolute Support Mission said: “The Taliban’s actions repeatedly harm civilians in an effort to undermine the government…”
A similar bombing in a bazaar in Kasham district of the northern Badakhshan province at around 10 a.m. claimed the lives of 10 civilians and injured 40 others, according to provincial government spokesman Nawed Frotan.
A bomb blast injured five people including a member of the Kabul provincial council Attaullah Faizani on the same day.
Afghans from all walks of life have strongly condemned the three bombings in a single day as a cowardly act of terror, calling upon the militants to respect Ramadan.
Kabul resident Abdul Ghani said, “Ramadan is the month of peace and reconciliation and killing people in this month is against teaching of Islam”.
Earlier on the eve of Ramadan, ulema or religious scholars had asked the Taliban to halt hostilities or at least observe a ceasefire during Ramadan.
However, the Taliban outfit described Ramadan as the month of Jihad or holy war and victory and vowed to intensify fighting in the month of Ramadan, a statement that has been widely condemned by Afghans.