Powerful explosion, gunfire hit Kabul near 'Green Zone'

Published August 3, 2021
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a powerful explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. — AP
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a powerful explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. — AP
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a powerful explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. — AP
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a powerful explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. — AP

A powerful blast followed by sporadic gunfire hit Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Tuesday near the city's heavily fortified “Green Zone”, an area home to government buildings and foreign embassies, police officials said.

At least three people were killed and seven wounded, said Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, a health ministry spokesperson, adding that clashes were continuing.

A senior security official said the blast appeared to have been caused by a car bomb and the apparent target was the residence of a member of parliament.

Two gunmen were still in the area and clashing with Afghan security forces, the official said.

The city's Emergency Hospital said in a tweet it had so far received six people wounded in the attack.

A second loud blast followed by rapid gunfire rocked Kabul, less than two hours after the first explosion, AFP correspondents reported.

The second blast was also followed by some smaller explosions in a central part of the city, not far from the heavily fortified Green Zone.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility.

Minutes after the blast hundreds of civilians in Kabul came out onto the streets and chanted Allahu Akbar (God is great) to express their support for Afghan government forces and opposition to the Taliban.

The overnight march spilled across the city with mostly men and some women joining in the demonstrations, carrying candles and Afghan flags to signal united opposition to the hardline group.

“The whole world can choose to be silent about what is going on in Afghanistan but we can't and won't stay quiet anymore ... we will stand side by side with our security forces until our last breath,” said a demonstrator in Kabul on condition of anonymity.

Last week residents in western Herat braved the streets despite nearby fighting to protest against the Taliban. Other cities quickly organised to join the chant from their homes in the evenings, as a message of support for embattled security forces.

Clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban have intensified across the country with the insurgent group gaining control over checkpoints, trading posts and infrastructure projects.

Afghan forces appealed to residents of the southern city of Lashkargah to leave their homes and stay away from areas where the Taliban were taking control, as they intend to launch operations against the group.

The Taliban said their fighters in Kabul killed a district governor of central Maidan Wardak province on Tuesday, the latest in a series of killings by the insurgent group aimed at eliminating senior government officials and social activists.

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...