Kabul: Bomb attacks in three Afghanistan cities, including Kabul, killed about 50 people on Tuesday during a day of carnage that broke a relative lull of violence as the Taliban insurgents intensified a deadly winter campaign.
At least nine people died when explosives hidden in a couch exploded in the governor’s compound in southern Kandahar during a visit by the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan, who escaped the attack with wounded .
A few hours earlier, Taliban twin explosions in Kabul tore apart employees leaving a parliamentary annex that houses lawmakers’ offices, killing at least 30 people and wounding 80 others.
And Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the volatile Helmand province, as militants rage nationally despite the start of winter when fighting is down .
The carnage highlights the growing insecurity in Afghanistan, where US forces are struggling to fight a resistant Taliban insurgency, as well as with al-Qaeda and militants in the Islamic state.
The governor of Kandahar and the United Arab Emirates special envoy Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi were wounded by the flames of the explosion, but many others were burned beyond recognition, told AFP The head of the provincial police Abdul Raziq.
He said a dozen people were killed in the bombing, but Tolo News reported nine deaths. No militant group has so far asserted its responsibility.
But the Taliban said they were behind the explosions in Kabul.
In the first explosion, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a minibus carrying government employees. When the rescuers reached the scene, a car bomb exploded.
Among the 30 dead, four policemen were killed during the second explosion, as they rushed to help the victims of the first explosion.
Ministry of Health spokesman Waheed Majroh warned that the number of wounded would increase because many wounded were fighting for their lives in the hospital.
The Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said they were behind the twin jets, adding that the victims were mostly Afghan intelligence agents. The insurgents are known to exaggerate the claims on the battlefield.
“The deaths of dozens of civilians in the Kabul bombings today indicate that the Taliban are continuing a terrible campaign of violence that makes no effort to spare civilian lives,” Amnesty International said in a statement.
“An immediate, impartial and independent investigation must be conducted to ensure justice for the victims and their families.”
The carnage of today comes just two weeks before Donald Trump took the post of US president.
The situation in Afghanistan will be an urgent issue for the new leader, although the longest-running US war was hardly mentioned in the bitterly contested presidential elections.
President-elect Trump gave little details on his expected foreign policy, with even less details on how he will approach the war in Afghanistan.
Repeated offers to launch peace talks with the Taliban have failed and a new season of fierce fighting is expected to begin in the spring.
Last week, Afghanistan hosted the Pentagon’s decision to deploy some 300 American marines in Helmand, where US forces have been fighting hard until the end of their mission in 2014.
The navies are going to the poppy province this spring to help a NATO-led mission train Afghan forces in the latest sign that foreign forces are increasingly attracted to the escalation of the conflict.