A series of blasts this week targeting passenger buses in Kabul have led to increasing concerns and panic among the local residents of the Afghan capital city.
On Thursday evening, four civilians, including a female journalist and her mother, were killed and five others wounded when a mini-bus was struck by a sticky improvised bomb in Pul-i-Sokhta of Police District 6, Xinhua news agency reports.
The blast came hours after a bomb hit a mini-bus in the same district, killing four people and injuring four others.
“It is not a new tactic. The terrorists bombed two mini-buses in our neighbourhood, killing and wounding several commuters who were returning from jobs or small businesses from a commercial district in the central part of Kabul a couple of months ago,” a resident told Xinhua on Friday.
“The west of Kabul is a neighbourhood which is dominated by the minority Shiite Hazara ethnic. The terrorists launched bomb blasts against schools, gyms, shrines, among public places as well as mosques and local bazaars in west of Kabul in recent years. They even attacked a maternity hospital one year ago here.”
No group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s bomb attacks so far.
On Tuesday, eight civilians were killed and 14 others wounded in twin blasts hitting two public buses in a short span of time in the same neighbourhood.
Another local resident told Xinhua on Friday that the recent attacks caused fears among her family and children.
“It is not a simple and easy job to bomb public buses in the capital. It is well planned terrorist attack,” she said, adding the recent bomb explosions for which no group or individual claim responsibility perplexed the local residents, security forces and even the government.
“The government is failing to curb the terrorist groups that infiltrated in Kabul and big cities in recent years. Less than one month ago, terrorists killed and wounded scores of school children and passers-by outside a primary school Dasht-e-Barchi, a populated area in the western part of Kabul,” she said.
“We are in fear. We cannot go outside for shopping or daily works and our children are in fear too,” she said.
The Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 2,950 civilians were killed and over 5,540 others wounded due to fighting in the country last year, according to the country’s independent human rights commission.
The agency has attributed 53 per cent of civilian casualties to the Taliban and 15 per cent to pro-government security forces over the period, while 25 per cent were caused by unknown perpetrators and the rest 7 per cent were blamed on other reasons.
Out of total casualties, 330 women and 565 children were killed in separate attacks last year, according to figures of the independent human rights commission.