Afghanistan Taliban attack kills dozens, wounds hundreds

Afghanistan Taliban attack kills dozens, wounds hundreds A truck full of explosives detonated on Tuesday on an Afghan government security compound in central Kabul in a Taliban-coordinated attack that killed at least 28 people and wounded 327 others (NYT). A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, issued a statement that claimed responsibility for the attack. The statement said that “a truck full of explosives” was detonated on “Department 10,” a National Directorate of Security (NDS) unit (Reuters), prior to armed militants entering the government compound. The explosion happened in a crowded urban area, near several government offices, however, most victims were civilians. Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah visited the site of the attack, saying it showed “the depth of barbarity and terror of Afghanistan’s enemies.” Security forces in the compound entered into a gun battle with an unknown number of insurgents following the explosion, according to Mohammad Afzel, a police officer at the attack site, the Taliban spokesman, Mujahid, and reports by the New York Times and Reuters (NYT, Reuters). However, Kabul’s police chief, Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi said only one militant ambushed the compound after the explosion and was gunned down by security forces in less than half an hour. The explosion set off warning sirens from the U.S. embassy compound which is near both the site of the attack and the headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission (Reuters). The U.S. embassy and the NATO mission both said that they were unaffected by the blast. On April 12, the Taliban announced the start of their ‘spring offensive’ and said in a statement that they would "employ large-scale attacks on enemy positions across the country (Yahoo).”