US service member among dozens dead in trio of attacks in Afghanistan

Explosions and gunfire also erupted when Camp Integrity, a base near the airport housing US special forces, came under attack late Friday, killing one North Atlantic Treaty Organisation service member whose nationality was not revealed.


In the day’s first attack, at 1 a.m., a massive truck bomb driven by a suicide attacker blew up in the center of Kabul, killing 15 people and wounding hundreds, almost all of them civilians, according to senior Afghan officials.

Military jets were heard flying over Kabul shortly after the Camp Integrity explosions.

Earlier on Friday, at least 25 people died in a suicide bombing at a police academy and a truck bomb killed 15.

KABUL-Violence surged in Afghanistan over the weekend including three separate bombings in the capital Kabul in one day-a wave of attacks that left at least 77 people dead.

These attacks are the most serious in months, and the first in Kabul since the Taliban named a new leader.

Analysts said the series of attacks conveyed a no-compromise message from the Taliban, after last week’s revelation of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death and an ongoing dispute over leadership of the radical Islamist group.

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National Security Adviser Susan Rice called President Ghani on Saturday to “express the deepest condolences of the American people” on Afghan deaths in the attacks, and Ghani in turn extended condolences for the U.S. service member’s death, according to a statement from the White House.

A leadership council last week appointed Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Omar’s deputy since 2010, to head the movement, but he is facing internal resistance, including from members of Omar’s family, The Guardian reports. There has been no official word on what the target for the truck bomb might have been though it is widely thought to have detonated prematurely and destroyed the apartment building, rather than a government target during daylight.

The attacks happened in Kunduz, an ethnically mixed and volatile part of the country where the mainly Pashtun Taliban have recently been establishing themselves in local communities far from their southern and eastern heartlands.

But it led to the postponement of Pakistan-sponsored reconciliation talks in Murree, a power struggle within the Taliban and to the resumption of violent attacks in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Afghan police academy and the U.S. base. One attacker reportedly detonated a Land Cruiser full of explosives at the compound’s entrance, while three others continued the assault at different areas of the base.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama said the US condemned the attack “in the strongest terms”.


Semple’s assertion appears to be backed up by an audio tape that was recently released and purports to be from Mansour. The attacks, which caused the first US military fatality since June, were also proof that even American soldiers, now here in greatly reduced numbers and on mostly a training and advising mission, are still vulnerable. “We want to be allowed to live in peace just like people in other countries of the world”.

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