Death toll in attack at Afghan political office rises to 20

Published July 29, 2019
An Afghan security force personnel inspects the site of Sunday's attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 29. — Reuters
An Afghan security force personnel inspects the site of Sunday's attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 29. — Reuters

The death toll from an attack against the office of the Afghan president's running mate and a former chief of the intelligence service in Kabul has climbed to at least 20 people, an official said Monday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that around 50 other people were wounded in Sunday's attack against the Green Trend party headquarters, which lasted hours and included a gun battle between the security forces and attackers holed up in the building.

Several gunmen were killed by security forces, Rahimi said.

The attackers' potential target, vice presidential candidate and former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, was "evacuated from the building and moved to a safe location," Rahimi said. Some 85 other civilians were also rescued from inside.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Taliban insurgents and the militant Islamic State group are active in the capital and have carried out attacks there in the past.

Sunday marked the first of the Afghan presidential campaign, with a vote scheduled for the end of September.

After the attack, President Ashraf Ghani tweeted that Saleh was unharmed during the "complex attack" targeting the Green Trend office.

Ferdous Faramarz, the spokesman for Kabul's police chief, said the attack started with a suicide car bomber after which other attackers entered into a building and start shooting at security forces.

The blast was large enough to be heard throughout the capital.

Attack condemned

Pakistan criticised the attack on Saleh’s office. In a tweet, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said: "Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the office of Mr Amrullah Saleh, a vice presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

In another tweet, he said Islamabad supported democracy in the neighbouring country.

"Pakistan fully supports the democratic process in Afghanistan. We stand with our Afghan brothers and sisters in their efforts to restore complete peace in the country through an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process," Dr Faisal said.

Opinion

Long arm of Big Tech
20 Jan 2021

Long arm of Big Tech

How many people would still be alive if Twitter and Facebook had denied Trump a platform to spread lies about Covid-19 a year ago?
Words, words, words
19 Jan 2021

Words, words, words

There was little in terms of contributions in our own language as we wrestled with the pandemic.

Editorial

Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...
Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...