18 Sep 2012

Afghan suicide bomb attack ‘in response to anti-Islam film’

Afghan militants have claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a minivan which has killed 12 people, saying it was retaliation for the US-made film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

Suicide attack near Kabul airport (Reuters)

The suicide bomber, believed to be an 18-year-old woman, blew up the van, which was carrying workers believed to be heading for the airport in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.

Zubair Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Hezb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility, saying: “A woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up in response to the anti-Islam video.”

Twelve people died in the attack, including nine foreigners. Police said the bomber rammed a small car laden with explosives into the mini-bus believed to be carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport.

The blast, in front of a petrol station on a large avenue northwest of the city centre, was reported to be so powerful it hurled the mini-bus at least 50 metres through the air.

Fury across the Middle East

It is the last in the outbreak of protests and violence that has been linked to the film “The Innocence of Muslims”, a film which mocked the Muslim prophet and labelled him a womaniser and a paedophile.

Thousands of protestors clashed with police in Kabul yesterday, throwing stones, burning tyres and attacking police vehicles.

The security situation in Kabul suffered at the weekend when eight NATO troops, including two British soldiers, were killed in attacks by Afghan forces or militants dressed in Afghan police uniforms.

Anger against the film has flared across the Middle East. It was named as a reason for the rocket-propelled grenade attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, though it has also been suggested that the attack was planned prior to the US film coming to light.

There have also been angry protests in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt.

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