Bomb Detonated While Trying To Defuse It
A Minivan packed with explosives which detonated as security forces were trying to defuse it, led to the death of at least 16 people and 38 wounded in a southern Afghanistan blast on Tuesday.
Daud Ahmadi, the provincial governor spokesman, revealed that security forces in Kandahar had already cleared the area around a bus station where the van was found.
“As the security forces were trying to defuse the van, it detonated,” said police spokesman Mohammad Qasim Azad.
“The latest figures show 16 dead and 38 wounded people brought to the hospital. We still have two ambulances at the site because there might be more people under the rubble,” Dr Nehmat Barak, chief of the Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar, said.
Ahmadi confirmed the toll, adding that the dead included four security forces personnel. At least five children and 10 members of the security forces were among the wounded.
The blast was so powerful that the majority of the casualties were passers by outside the cleared area. Ahmadi said security forces also found a large container of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests, and ammunition near the site.
“The terrorists planned to conduct a big attack at end of Ramadan in the city among crowds of people as they went out shopping for Eid… security forces prevented a disaster from happening,” one security official told AFP.
On Monday, the Taliban warned Kabul residents to avoid “military centres” in the heavily fortified city, saying they are planning more attacks in the Afghan capital.
A US government watchdog also warned on Monday that upbeat assessments of improving security in the country did not match facts on the ground.
The Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General said there were “few signs of progress” in the fight against the Taliban.
Top US officials and military commanders insist the Afghan security forces which have suffered thousands of casualties and are beset with low morale and corruption are now doing a better job of maintaining order.
But the Taliban still control swathes of the country and are staging repeated attacks, while the Islamic State group has conducted a series of high-profile suicide blasts in Kabul and elsewhere.