Kabul mourns 100 dead after ambulance bomb

Asia

Asia

Kabul mourns 100 dead after ambulance bomb

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EPA

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Security officials guarded the scene of the attack on Sunday morning

More than 100 people are now believed to have been killed in a suicide bombing on Saturday in Kabul.Attackers drove an ambulance past a police checkpoint to get to a crowded street in a district full of government buildings and embassies.Afghanistan’s government has declared a day of mourning for Sunday, as funerals take place and relatives search hospitals for survivors.The Taliban – a hardline Islamist group – said it was behind the attack.It was the deadliest attack in Afghanistan for months and took place a week after an attack on a Kabul hotel in which 22 people were killed.Who are the Taliban?
Four days behind the Taliban front line
Health Minister Waheed Majroh said most of the 191 people injured were men. AFP news agency reports that some foreign organisations are “reassessing their presence” in the country after the spate of attacks.What happened in the latest attack?Witnesses say the area – also home to offices of the European Union, a hospital and a shopping zone known as Chicken Street – was crowded with people when the bomb exploded on Saturday at about 12:15 local time (08:45 GMT). Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, said the attacker got through a security checkpoint after telling police he was taking a patient to nearby Jamhuriat hospital. He detonated the bomb at a second checkpoint, said Mr Rahimi. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the use of an ambulance was “harrowing”.
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Media captionWATCH: How the attack unfoldedWho are the Taliban?The hardline Islamic Taliban movement swept to power in Afghanistan in 1996 after the civil war which followed the Soviet-Afghan war, and were ousted by the US-led invasion five years later, but returned to run some key areas
In power, they imposed a brutal version of Sharia law, such as public executions and amputations, and banned women from public life
Men had to grow beards and women to wear the all-covering burka; television, music and cinema were banned
They sheltered al-Qaeda leaders before and after being ousted – since then they have fought a bloody insurgency which continues today

In 2016, Afghan civilian casualties hit a new high – a rise attributed by the UN largely to the Taliban

Civilian casualties remained at high levels in 2017, the UN said