Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

‘Mexico will not finance US wall,’ foreign minister says

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

African nations need to prepare for potential return of thousands of jihadists

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo former child soldiers awarded $10 mn in damages in landmark ruling

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out "Rotten Apples"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference, Alabama election, One Planet Summit, Brexit Phase II, Disney & Fox

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

Asia-pacific

Car bomb targets NATO vehicle, at least six dead

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-17

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on Italian vehicles from the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Thursday which killed at least six Italian soldiers and two civilians, according to the AFP.

AFP - A massive suicide car bomb ripped into a NATO convoy killing six Italian soldiers and three Afghan civilians on the airport road in the heavily fortified Afghan capital on Thursday, officials said.

The explosion struck just after midday about 1.5 kilometres (one mile) from the gates of the US embassy on the busy airport road, destroying one vehicle with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF).

Six Italian soldiers were killed and another three wounded, the Italian defence ministry announced after the Taliban claimed one of the worst single attacks on the more than 100,000 NATO and US-led troops serving in Afghanistan.

"It was a suicide car bomb attack. Up to now two civilians were killed and nine were wounded, but the number may increase," said the chief of criminal investigations for Kabul police, Sayed Abdul Ghapar Sayed Zada.

"It was against Italian forces. They had casualties," he added.

Ahmad Farid Raaid, health ministry spokesman, said three civilians were killed and 38 wounded. Witnesses put the death toll from the blast, which was claimed by the Taliban, at six.

Armoured vehicles showing the Italian flag and clearly marked with the ISAF logo were damaged, with vehicle parts strewn over the blood-stained road and shops destroyed by the power of the blast, witnesses said.

An AFP reporter said he saw the body of one ISAF soldier lying by the roadside and remains of three more bodies pulled from an armoured vehicle, although it was unclear if they were all foreign soldiers.

He confirmed at least two civilian bodies were also removed from the scene, where the blast created a crater in the dusty road.

"I was walking to my shop when I heard a huge blast and then thick black smoke," said Sawad, who lives near the blast site.

"I thought that day had become night. When I came back, for minutes I couldn't see anything. Then I saw one man lying on the tarmac without a head. I saw around 10 people, civilians killed, 40 to 50 wounded."

Television footage and photographs clearly showed the Italian flag on the ISAF armoured vehicles, one of which was destroyed in the blast.

Kabul has been hit recently by several suicide blasts claimed by Taliban militants bent on toppling the Western-backed government. Once such attack killed three civilians outside the city's military airport on September 8.

In August, a massive suicide car bomb attack on ISAF's Kabul headquarters killed seven Afghan civilians, underscoring the increasingly brazen nature of the Taliban threat as the Islamist militia wages a fierce insurgency.

There are about 100,000 US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan helping the government battle a Taliban insurgency, at its worst since the Islamist hardliners were overthrown in a US-backed invasion in late 2001.

Date created : 2009-09-17

COMMENT(S)