17 May 2015

Kabul car bomb: three killed after EU vehicle rammed

A suicide car bomber rammed a European Union vehicle near the main airport in Kabul, killing at least two Afghans and a British national in the latest attack in the city, officials say.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL), which advises Afghan law enforcement authorities.

At least 18 people were wounded in the bombing, occurring only days after another Briton was killed in an attack by the Taliban on a guest house, which left 14 people dead.

EUPOL spokeswoman Sari Haukka-Konu confirmed that one of the mission’s vehicles was hit by an explosion near the office of the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority, which is a few hundred metres from the airport terminal.

She said all the EUPOL personnel “are in a safe place” with non-fatal injuries, but another person travelling in the vehicle was killed.

‘Peaceful future’

Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, condemned the attack saying that the Briton killed was a security contractor. In a statement, he said: “This is the second attack in a matter of days for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility and I strongly condemn their cowardly actions.

These attacks must not stop the people of Afghanistan. Philip Hammond

“I can confirm that a British security contractor is among those killed in the attack. His family has been informed and my thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time. Consular staff stand ready to provide support.

“Two Afghan women have also sadly lost their lives and many more have been injured. These attacks must not stop the people of Afghanistan, with the support of the international community, working towards a more peaceful future.”

‘Cowardly attack’

EUPOL Head of Mission Pia Stjernvall said in a statement: “I’m deeply saddened by the incident at this occasion of which an employee of the Security provider for EUPOL Afghanistan, a dedicated and highly professional security officer, lost his life while protecting the members of EUPOL mission.

This appalling crime will not stop EUPOL from continuing its support. EUPOL

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of our colleague and all the others who were involved with this tragic and cowardly attack against people who have come to this country simply to help the people of Afghanistan. At the same time my thoughts are with the Afghans who were victims of this attack.

“I can assure you that this appalling crime will not stop EUPOL from continuing its support to the people and government of Afghanistan. We are as committed as ever to Afghanistan and will go on to work with our Afghan and internationals partners for a safer Afghanistan.”

Sediq Sediqqi, Afghanistan interior ministry spokesman, said: “The explosives were placed in a Corolla car, they’ve targeted two to three vehicles belonging to foreigners and unfortunately two women have been killed (among the deaths), three people who were inside the foreigners’ vehicles were wounded and another 18 people, which includes 8 women, 7 men and three children, have been wounded.”

The insurgents have launched a wave of attacks around the country since the drawdown of most foreign troops last year to a small training force.