A major car bombing attack took place this morning in the Afghan city of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, and a city which the Taliban has been intermittently trying to invade over the past year. The bomb targeted the city’s New Kabul Bank branch, killing at least 34 people and wounding 60 others.
The attack appears to have been timed to take place while police, soldiers, and other government employees were lining up at the bank to collect their pay. This has been a common tactic in the Afghan War, though so far there has been no claim of credit for this particular incident.
But while ISIS is now active in Afghanistan and has also been looking to claim a lot of the big attacks, this is more likely a Taliban strike, given its location is deep within a province that the Taliban has substantial control over, and targeting security forces in a city they’ve long hoped to invade.
That bank queues have been regularly targeted throughout the Afghan War, and that the government still doesn’t appear able to prevent them, reflects the ongoing security woes some 16 years into the US invasion and occupation of the country.