Kabul attack death toll more than doubles to 64

Kabul attack death toll more than doubles to 64

KABUL – Agence France-Presse
Kabul attack death toll more than doubles to 64

An Afghan man stands near to the site of yesterday's Taliban-claimed deadly suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The death toll from a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul has more than doubled to 64, officials said April 20, making it the deadliest militant assault in the Afghan capital for years.

The brazen attack on April 19 on a security services office in the heart of Kabul is seen as the opening salvo in this year’s Taliban spring offensive, launched last week.

A powerful Taliban truck bomb tore through central Kabul and a fierce firefight broke out, sending clouds of smoke billowing into the sky and rattling windows several kilometers away.

“It is with regret that I announce that 64 people were killed and 347 others wounded in yesterday’s Kabul attack,” ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters April 20. “Most of them are civilians.”

The ministry had earlier put the death toll at 30.

“The victims of the terrorist attack are all fathers, brothers or children of people,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Twitter.

“We will avenge every drop of Afghan blood.”

The Taliban claimed three “martyrdom seekers” carried out an attack on the National Directorate of Security, the main spy agency. One of them, it said, managed to slip away alive.

Mourners in Kabul held emotionally charged funerals on April 20 for the victims of the attack, one of the deadliest in Kabul for years.  

“The government is unable to stop these attacks on the people,” said Abdul Basir Mobasher, a relative of a security official who was killed in the attack.  

“The people will be forced to rise up in revolt if these attacks don’t stop.”