A suicide bomber detonated tons of explosives while people were asleep. The majority stay on a small number of bases providing training support to the Afghan military, although a small number of special operations forces still conduct counterterrorism missions.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents launched both the police academy and Camp Integrity attacks, but he earlier refused to comment on Friday’s early morning truck bomb that tore through buildings in central Kabul, killing at least 15 people and wounding 248 others.
The Taliban are in the midst of a leadership dispute following last week’s appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansour as new leader. It was unknown how the attackers smuggled a large amount of explosives into the heavily guarded city. The blast flattened a city block and left a 30-foot crater.
In that attack, the Taliban said, a person dressed in police uniform mingled with cadets returning from their weekend break.
An Afghan police officer walks at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. The majority of the slain were Afghan police, killed in attacks on the Kabul Police Academy.
President Ghani insisted the government was still committed to peace but said it “will respond to these sort of terrorist attacks with force and power”. Omar had not been seen in public since fleeing over the border into Pakistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban from power.
At least 28 people were killed and 22 more wounded at the police academy, according to an Afghan police official who spoke on condition of anonymity. One Resolute Support service member and two insurgent attackers were killed.
One service member and eight Afghan security guards were killed in the attack on the base, which is known as Camp Integrity, according to a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the company that employed the guards.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which wounded people in their sleep and damaged homes and shops.
The attacks “demonstrate again the insurgency’s complete disregard for the lives of innocent Afghans”.
This came shortly after the Taliban’s confirmation of the death of Mullah Omar, who led the militant movement for some 20 years. A recent U.N. report shows a 1 percent increase in civilian casualties in the first six months of the year, the overwhelming majority caused by the insurgents.
The president’s office said 47 women and 33 children were among the casualties. “We want to be allowed to live in peace just like people in other countries of the world”.
The Taliban have distanced themselves from the second round of talks that were scheduled for last week, but were cancelled after the announcement of Omar’s death.