'Horrifying' Taliban bombing in Kabul kills American, Romanian soldiers

'Horrifying' Taliban bombing in Kabul kills American, Romanian soldiers
The Taliban-claimed blast killed at least ten people, including two NATO soldiers, in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday morning.
3 min read
05 September, 2019
Another Taliban attack claimed 16 lives on Monday [Anadolu]
Two NATO troops were reported dead after a Taliban bombing in the Afghan capital on Thursday, which came as the US and the Afghan militants negotiate a deal to see American troops vacate the country.

The explosion hit Shash Darak, a heavily fortified area adjacent to the Green Zone and home to several important complexes including the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence service.

Interior Minister Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the blast had been caused by a car bomb at 10:10am local time.

Rahimi said that the lives of ten civilians were claimed in the attack and that 42 more were wounded.

Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, later said that two foreign troops were among then ten people killed in the blast.

One of the troops was an American service member, the latest of at least 16 US troops killed in Afghanistan this year.

The Romanian foreign ministry had earlier confirmed that one of its soldiers were among the dead. 

Farid Ahmad Karimi, general manager at the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital close to the bomb site, told AFP that both civilians and security personnel were among the dead and wounded in the blast.

Massoud Zazai, who owns a photo studio across the street from the blast site, said he was in his shop when the explosion happened.

"I fell off my chair and it got dark inside the shop because of smoke and dust," Zazai told AFP.

"I went out to the scene moments after the attack, the side of the road was littered with debris and bodies."

Through the smoke, Zazai said he could hear injured people crying and calling for their mothers and brothers.

"I saw at least five very badly injured, one was covered in blood and not moving. It was horrifying."

The blast came just days after another Taliban attack in Kabul on Monday which killed at least 16 people. A Romanian embassy employee was among those killed.

The capital has been seized by a surge in deadly violence even after the US and the Taliban reached an agreement "in principle" that would see the Pentagon pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan in return for various Taliban security promises - which include an end to such attacks.

In Afghanistan, though, there is increasing fear that the deal could lead to a return of the Taliban to power.

According to parts of the deal made public so far, the US would pull about 5,000 of its 13,000 or so troops from five bases across Afghanistan by early next year, provided the Taliban keep to their security pledges.

The militants have said they will renounce Al-Qaeda, fight the Islamic State group and stop extremists using Afghanistan as a safe haven.

But the Afghan government on Wednesday expressed doubts about the prospective deal, saying officials need more information about the risks it poses.

Even as negotiations for an accord have entered what are widely considered to be the final stages, violence has surged across Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Taliban attempted to seize the provincial capital of Kunduz in the north and sporadic fighting has continued on the outskirts all week, while on Sunday, insurgents launched an operation in the city of Pul-e Khumri, the capital of neighbouring Baghlan province.