Thursday, June 22, 2017

Taliban car bomb attack on Afghan bank kills 34

Jun 23 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Taliban car bomb attack on Afghan bank kills 34

At least 34 people were killed on Thursday when a Taliban car bomb struck a bank in Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah city as people were queueing up to withdraw salaries.Dozens of wounded people were rushed to hospital after the bombing at New Kabul Bank upturned vehicles and left the area littered with charred debris. The attack comes as the Taliban ramp up their nationwide spring offensive despite government calls for a ceasefire during Ramzan and as the US appears set to boost its troop presence in the country .
The attacker struck as scores of people, including many Afghan soldiers and civil servants, were waiting near the Kabul Bank to collect their salaries ahead of the Eid -al-Fitr holiday . This was the third attack on this bank since 2014. “About 58 others were wounded in the bombing,“ the provincial government said on Thursday , adding that most of the victims were civilians, including women and children.
The insurgents, believed to control nearly 80% of the province's countryside, have increasingly been pressing a push onto Lashkar Gah and its environs in efforts to take the city. Esmatullah, an Afghan border policeman, said the noise from the blast was deafening. He said many were missing in the ensuing chaos as witnesses, survivors and ambulances struggled to ferry first the most seriously wounded to hospital.
President Ashraf Ghani called the attack deplorable, and assailed the attackers as “enemies of humanity“. He said the relentless assaults that have been carried out were particularly offensive during Ramzan.
“These brutal terrorist attacks ... prove that they (insurgents) have no respect for any religion or faith. They are enemies of humanity ,“ Ghani said. Pakistan also condemned Thursday's suicide bombing, saying that “we firmly stand with our Afghan brothers in this hour of grief & anguish.“

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