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Day after Kabul bomb blast, Taliban warns of more attacks towards Afghan government officials

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The Taliban on Wednesday has given out warnings of more attacks targeting Afghan government leaders.

The warning came a day after a bomb-and-gun attack on Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi on Tuesday night brought the war to the capital for the first time in months as across the country, militants fought to retake control of a string of besieged cities.

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“Retaliatory Operations”

Taliban

Afghan and US forces have increased airstrikes against terrorists, and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul raid on Wednesday.

“The attack is the beginning of the retaliatory operations against the circles and leaders of the Kabul administration who are ordering attacks and the bombing of different parts of the country,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on social media.

It was unmistakably a sign of a substantial escalation by the Taliban, who had mainly avoided large-scale attacks in the capital since beginning talks with the US about military withdrawal.

The bombing

Taliban 1 Taliban The North-Eastern Chronicle

Afghan and US forces have increased airstrikes against terrorists, and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul raid on Wednesday.

“The attack is the beginning of the retaliatory operations against the circles and leaders of the Kabul administration who are ordering attacks and the bombing of different parts of the country,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on social media.

It was unmistakably a sign of a substantial escalation by the Taliban, who had mainly avoided large-scale attacks in the capital since beginning talks with the US about military withdrawal.

The bombing

According to media accounts, the first bomb burst in Kabul’s central business district, and less than two hours later, another blast occurred, followed by other minor explosions and rapid shooting near the high-security Green Zone, which houses numerous embassies, including the US mission.

The minister, on the other hand, was unharmed, and the attackers were repulsed by Afghan soldiers.

After the first blast, thousands of people in several cities started a social media campaign to chant “Allahu akbar”, showing their support for the government.

“The Taliban justified this attack as the start of retaliatory attacks against government personnel for their indiscriminate bombings,” Ibraheem Bahiss, a consultant with the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

“However, it is equally possible that the Taliban has been caught off guard by the prevalence of anti-Taliban sentiments in Afghanistan’s urban centres,” he added.

Early Wednesday in Kabul, there was little relief, with police reporting that another blast had injured three people.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch accused the Taliban of executing captured troops, police officers, and civilians suspected of having ties to the government in areas they had taken over.

Military Counterattack

The Taliban threat came as the Afghan military launched a counterattack in the southern city of Lashkar Gah, where terrorists have massed in different parts of the city.

The army has informed the city’s 200,000 people to evacuate on Tuesday as they prepare to go further offensive.

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