Kabul, Jan 29: The death toll in the suicide attack carried out on an Afghan army unit here on Monday has risen to 15, an official said.
“We now confirm that 11 army soldiers have died and 16 are wounded,” said Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson Dawlat Waziri told Efe news agency. Four insurgents also died in the attack. He blamed the attack on the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, a group said to be based in Pakistan. The Islamic State (IS) terror group, however, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released via the IS-linked Amaq news agency.
The attack on the premises of an Afghan army battalion, located near the Marshal Fahim Military Academy in western Kabul, began at 5 a.m. and lasted for five hours. Two suicide bombers died upon detoting the explosives they were wearing and two others were shot dead by security forces while a fifth was captured alive. “IS does not have the level to carry out such attacks. These attacks are being perpetrated by the Haqqani (group),” Waziri said. The IS said that its militants detoted their suicide vests after exchanging gunfire with the Afghan security forces, describing the attack as “Inghimasi” in the Amaq statement. Inghimasis are radicals assigned to fight deep into their target’s frontlines and blow up their explosive belts afterwards,
Monday’s suicide attack followed Saturday’s ambulance bomb attack here that left 103 dead and more than 200 injured. Afghanistan is witnessing one of its bloodiest phases following the end of the 2015 TO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) military mission, which is still present in the country to train Afghan forces. (IANS)