Stars and Stripes, January 27, 2018
Suicide bomber in ambulance kills at least 103, over 230 injured in Afghanistan (PHOTOS)
The explosion was the third high-profile attack in Afghanistan in a week, and the deadliest this year
By Phillip Walter Wellman
KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 103 people were killed and more than 230 were wounded on Saturday when an ambulance packed with explosives was detonated in central Kabul, officials said.
The explosion was the third high-profile attack in Afghanistan in a week, and the deadliest this year, highlighting the fragile security situation in the country, more than 16 years after a U.S. invasion ousted the Taliban from power.
The vehicle made it past a checkpoint in a heavily secured area near the capital’s Sadarat Square — about a mile from the US Embassy and NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters — before being stopped at a second checkpoint, where it exploded, Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul Police said. It was lunchtime and many people were in the street.
“Most of the victims are civilians,” Mujahid said. “It was a terrible attack that killed women, children, shopkeepers and visitors to the area.”
Dejan Panic, a coordinator with the NGO Emergency, which operates a nearby hospital that treated victims, described the scene as “a massacre.”
Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel was at the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul when the bombing took place, reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Defense One who were accompanying Votel said on Twitter late Saturday. Votel and his traveling party were not hurt and have since continued onward.
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