Kabul, Afghanistan Suicide Bombings Kill Dozens, Including Journalists

Monday, April 30th 2018, 5:15 am
By: News 9

A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, killing at least 25 people, including journalists, Kabul police said. At least 45 more people were left wounded, officials said.

Agence France-Presse, the AFP, reported that the news agency's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among those killed. AFP said Marai died in a blast that targeted a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of the earlier suicide attack in the Afghan capital.

The affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted online, and the Taliban denied any involvement.   

Sediqullah Tawhidi, an official form the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, said a cameraman from the local TOLO TV was among those killed. 

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told CBS News partner network BBC News that eight journalists had been killed in total and that four police officers were also among the dead. 

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the first suicide bomber was on a motor bike and the second attacker was among the crowd of reporters who rushed to the scene of the first attack. Stanekzai said the second attacker pretended to be one of the media members, then detonated his explosives while still among the reporters.

The suicide attacks took place in the central Shash Darak area, which is home to the NATO headquarters and a number of embassies in Afghanistan. The second was meant to hit those rushing to the scene of the attack to help the victims of the first blast. 

Kabul chief of police Dawood Amin said the area of Kabul that was hit, which has many foreign offices, was quickly sealed off. Mohammad Mousa Zahir, director of Wazir Akbarkhan Hospital, said several people suffering injuries from the blasts were being treated at the hospital.

The local ISIS affiliate and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks around the country, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces and ISIS often targeting the Shiite minority. Both groups want to establish strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.