Taliban claims responsibility for bomb attack on Afghan Defence Minister's house


Kabul, Aug 4 (UNI) The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on the house of Afghan acting Defence Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi in downtown Kabul on Tuesday night, terming it a “martyrdom operation.”

   The attack, which took place around 8 pm local time in Shirpoor area of Kabul's heavily fortified Green Zone where most of the high-ranking government officials live, killed eight people, including a woman, and left more than 20 others wounded.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group targeted the residence on Tuesday night, adding that an important meeting was underway at the time.

According to Tolo News, first a car bomb was detonated close to the house of Mohammadi and then four gunmen entered a nearby house and fired at security guards.

Afghan security forces arrived at the scene shortly after the attack and ambulances were seen leaving the area soon.

Three attackers entered the house of Mohammad Azim Mohseni, an MP from Baghlan, nearby after the blast and opened fire on the guards.

Mohseni confirmed that he was not at home when the attack happened.

“There were four to seven attackers,” security sources told Tolo.

A security source said that a security guard of Mohammadi’s house is among those killed, and another was wounded.

Mohammadi and his family were not at home when the attack took place.

The attack marked a major escalation in the Taliban's campaign in Afghanistan, with the militant group making territorial gains across the country.

Meanwhile, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai has said the Taliban “will be defeated” by Afghans and the people will confront them and form an uprising against them if the militant group continues its violence.

“If the Taliban continue to oppose that--this would be confronted but I want this confrontation to be political, not military,” Karzai said in an interview with Russia’s RTA. “They must agree to that or they will be defeated. The Afghan people will rise against them.”

Karzai said the Afghan people are giving the Taliban an opportunity.

“This means an opportunity to coexist and to allow the country to progress. If they don’t allow that and if they continue to seek their own domination of Afghanistan the way they think of it, that will give rise to a national uprising without a doubt and I will be one of those people,” Karzai said.

On Tuesday night, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar called up Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to request convening of an emergency session on Afghanistan at the UN Security Council, with India holding the month-long presidency of the 15-member world body.

Atmar also hosted foreign envoys to brief them on the Taliban’s continued brutalities, leading to a humanitarian crisis.