The death toll in the deadly blast by Taliban in Kabul has reached 16 and 119 people have been injured. The blast came a few hours after the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the details of a deal that would have American troops leaving Afghanistan. As many as 400 foreigners have been rescued by officials so far.
The attack on Monday took place at a residential area near Green Village, an area that has major embassies including the embassy of the US. The attack, executed by at least five attackers, was carried out using a truck laden with explosives. Smoke was all over the night sky of Kabul and a nearby gas station caught fire because of the blast. The Green Village has been a frequent target even though it is guarded by Afghan forces and private security guards. The residents of Kabul got so angry after the attack that they climbed over the boundary of the complex, that's mostly targetted and set some part on fire. “It was a horrifying explosion,” a witness, Wali Jan said.
The blast that took place on the street outside the compound destroyed many houses in the area. The security forces neutralized all five attackers after the bomber, who was apparently driving the tractor with explosives, blew up the vehicle. The western wall of Green Village was attacked by explosions. It has been another suicide bombing in the area after January. Zalmay Khalilzad was on a visit to Kabul in January too for negotiation with the Taliban.
The blast occurred while the US envoy Khalilzad was on a visit to the capital city of Afghanistan to brief the central government on his negotiations with the Taliban on putting an end to the longest war of America. “We have reached an agreement with the Taliban in principle but of course until the U.S. president agrees with it, it isn’t final,” Khalilzad told a local news agency in Afghanistan. The agreement has to get approved by US President Donald Trump. According to reports, President Trump wants to withdraw troops before his Presidential elections next year in the US. The draft deal is meeting his deadline and he had been quite hopeful to withdraw his troops.
The motive behind such attacks by the Taliban is not clear specially after the demands of the militant group of US troops leaving the country are being fulfilled. The attacks are increasing and in the past few months have seen a lot of it. It is said that the Taliban is strengthening its position in negotiation with the US and the Afghan government. There are analysts who have warned that a certain group of Taliban might be unhappy with US-Taliban deal. However, the Taliban political leaders who were at Qatar meeting said that their thousands of fighters would respect the deal.
(With inputs from AP)