Briton among five G4S employees killed in Kabul blast

Briton among five G4S employees killed in Kabul blast
UK security firm G4S, which provides protection for British diplomats in Kabul, was targeted in a Taliban-claimed attack in the Afghan capital.
2 min read
29 November, 2018
Afghan security forces at the site of a blast outside a G4S compound, Kabul [Getty]

British security firm G4S said Thursday that five of its employees were killed and 32 injured on Wednesday in a Taliban-claimed attack on one of its compounds in Kabul.

The company, which provides security for British diplomats, said one Briton and four Afghans were killed in the attack.

A massive crater marked the spot where a vehicle bomb detonated in the Afghan capital. After the explosion, militants tried to fight their way into the G4S site, authorities said.

"Five attackers were involved, one detonated his vehicle at the gate, and four others were on foot and they entered the building," interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP

"It is with great sadness that we can confirm that five of our employees were killed and 32 were injured, five of them seriously, in an unprovoked, criminal attack on one of our compounds in Kabul," G4S managing director Charlie Burbridge said in a statement.

An AFP photographer could see the shattered remains of a small van lying in the middle of the debris. Parts of nearby buildings in the industrial area of eastern Kabul were twisted by the violence of the blast. 

G4S, which according to its website provides security for British diplomats in Kabul, was also targeted in an attack in March, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives before reaching the entrance of the complex. 

Two civilians were killed in that attack. 

Wednesday's assault came hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the formation of a team for prospective peace talks with the Taliban, as the United Nations renewed calls for direct negotiations between Kabul and the insurgents.

The Afghan government, Western diplomats and UN officials have in recent weeks raised hopes of finally reaching a deal to end the 17-year war.

At an international conference on Afghanistan in Geneva, Ghani said the 12-person negotiating team includes both men and women and will be led by his chief of staff Abdul Salam Rahimi.

But the Taliban have once again rejected Ghani's overtures, saying in a statement Thursday that it considered the government in Kabul "impotent" and a "waste of time". 

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told Pentagon reporters Thursday that the US would do its "level best to protect the Afghan people".

"It'd be nice if the Taliban would get a line with the reconciliation effort and stop murdering their own people, but yeah we'll keep at it," he added on efforts to reach peace in the country.

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