89 civilians killed in Afghanistan car bomb blast
KABUL: At least 89 civilians, including several
children and women, were killed and 42 others wounded on Tuesday in a suicide
car bomb attack on a busy marketplace in the south-eastern Afghan province of
Paktika, an official said.
The attack took place at noon in the Orgun district
marketplace, Zahir Azimi, defence ministry spokesman, told Efe news agency. “I
can confirm that 89 people, including children and women, died and 42 others
were injured,” said Azimi.
The market was full of people who were shopping for
Ramadan and were preparing for the Eid al Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, the
most important celebration for Muslims, provincial Governor Mohamed Reza
Kharoti told Efe. Tuesday’s attack was one of the deadliest in Afghanistan in
Sixty-two people died in two attacks against the Shia
minority in 2011 and 41 others perished in another suicide attack during the
Feast of the Sacrifice in 2012. Suicide attacks, along with improvised
explosive devices (IEDs), are the methods most used by the Taliban to attack
Afghan and international forces, causing a large number of civilian deaths.
In a separate attack on Tuesday, two staff members of
the Presidential Palace died and seven others were injured while travelling on
the outskirts of Kabul, when the car they were in hit a bomb which exploded.
In the first six months of this year, violence in
Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 1,564 civilians, a 17 percent increase
over the first half of 2013, while 3,289 have been injured, 28 percent more
than the previous year.
Violence has been on the rise in this South Asian
country since 2013, when Afghan forces took control of security due to the
scheduled withdrawal of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
ISAF will conclude its mission in Afghanistan by the
end of this year, but Washington has announced that it will maintain around
9,800 troops in the country until its complete exit at the end of 2016.