A suicide bombing and a subsequent car bombing tore through Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul today, just down the street from the nation’s parliament, killing at least 38 people and wounding 70 others. Interior Ministry officials say four police were slain and the overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians.
Indications are, however, that the civilians were not random bystanders. Public health officials say the “minibus full of civilians” believed to be the main target was operated by the Afghan spy agency the NDS. They also noted that the casualties were overwhelmingly the NDS staff and staff members at the nearby parliament building.
The Taliban issued a statement shortly after the attacks confirming they were behind them, and confirming that they targeted the NDS bus with the initial bombing, and then used a second bombing to try to get security forces who flocked to the scene after that time.
The use of consecutive attacks on the same target to try to kill those who responded to the explosion is a common tactic both among insurgencies and the US military, which has adopted the “double-tap” tactic in several of its bombing campaigns to try to kill wounded survivors, or anyone who tries to rescue someone they attempted to kill in the initial strike.