Kabul: Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 14 soldiers and policemen today as Kabul residents prepared to bury their loved ones slain in a horrific bombing by the Islamic State group that targeted a voter registration center the day before, killing 57.
Prayer services were held for the Kabul victims as families of those killed in yesterday’s bombing carried the bodies of their kin and dug the graves at a cemetery in the hills above the Afghan capital.
The first of today’s near-simultaneous attacks in western Badghis province hit army units in the district of Ab Kamari, killing nine soldiers, said Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the deputy provincial police chief.
Moments later, another large group of insurgents struck police in Qadis district, killing five policemen.
Sharafuddin Majidi, spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed the casualty tolls. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the Badghis attacks in a statement to the media.
The attacks came on the heels of yesterday’s suicide blast in Kabul. The staggering casualty toll – 57 dead and 119 wounded – underscored the struggles the government faces to rein in militant assaults even in large and well-protected urban centres.
The explosion shook the city around 10 am, shattering windows miles from the site of the attack, leaving the pavement covered with bodies and blood stains and destroying nearby vehicles.
The bomber targeted civilians who were registering for national identification cards, Kabul police said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite “apostates.” (AP)