By Brittany Greve
According to CBC News, a suicide bomber driving an ambulance killed at least 95 people and wounded 158 more in an attack in the Afghan capital Kabul. On January 27, the Taliban and an affiliate of the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made claims of responsibility for the attack. This hospital attack comes almost exactly a week after the Taliban killed 22 civilians at an international hotel in Kabul. Many of those injured and killed were innocent civilians. This attack is just one of many that have injured and killed civilians in Kabul; the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres along with other main leaders strongly believe that “[i]ndiscriminate attacks against civilians … can never be justified.”
To get past all security checkpoints, the attacker pretended to be taking a patient to the local hospital in the city center. According to Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, the attacker detonated his explosives at a second checkpoint after passing through the first checkpoint.
After everything settled, the Health Ministry set the numbers at 95 killed and 158 wounded. According to CBS, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, has since claimed responsibility for the bombing in Kabul. This vicious attack has been one of many in the city of Kabul. The following Wednesday after the hospital attack, ISIS militants stormed the offices of Save the Children in eastern Afghanistan killing four and triggering a standoff with police that lasted almost 10 hours. The Islamic State group has been involved in at least 10 fatal attacks in Afghanistan just in the last year.
The deputy spokesperson for the Interior Ministry confirmed that four suspects have been arrested and are being questioned, but he didn’t elaborate further.
Among other main officials, President Donald Trump came out to condemn the attack on the people of Afghanistan. He says “all countries should take decisive action” against the Taliban, and the “murderous attack” only renews the U.S. resolve with its Afghan partners. According to Fox News, President Trump said, “The Taliban’s cruelty will not prevail,” and added that the U.S. is “committed to a secure Afghanistan that is free from terrorists.”
Pakistan quickly issued a statement condemning the bombing, saying, “No cause or ends justify acts of terrorism against innocent people.” Afghan security forces have been struggling to fight the Taliban since the U.S. and NATO formally ended their combat mission in 2014.
After the attack last Saturday, when Taliban militants targeted the Intercontinental Hotel killing 22 people, President Trump proposed a plan to ensure the security of American citizens abroad and to help Afghan allies. His plan involves sending thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and more explicitly links U.S. assistance to concrete results from the Afghan government. According to Fox News, Nikki Haley, Trump’s U.N. envoy, said that Mr. Trump’s policy was working and that peace talks between the government and the Taliban are closer than ever before.