At Least 18 Killed in Kabul Suicide Attack

Karzai Says Attack Targeted Indian Nationals

At least 18 people were killed today and an unknown number wounded in a suicide attack against a pair of guest houses in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The guest houses were popular with foreigners.

Half of the people killed were Indians, and President Hamid Karzai said that the attack was targeting Indian nationals in the area. India’s Foreign Ministry reports that some of the slain were government officials.

Also killed were Italian diplomat Pietro Antonio Colazzo and French filmmaker Severin Blanchet, who was in the nation to teach Afghans how to make documentary films. The rest of the victims were said to be Afghans, including some security forces.

But despite Karzai’s claims, in a statement taking responsibility for the attack the Taliban denied that Indians were the targets, and rather said the attack was aimed at foreign nationals from countries that are participating in the Afghan War. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said the attack was meant to pressure a foreign withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan MP Sultan Mohammed Awrang condemned the government’s reaction to the attack, saying that the police in the capital city were “becoming weaker and weaker” and today’s attack showed their inability to safeguard Kabul.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.