Car bomb targets UK contractor’s compound in Afghan capital

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Car bomb targets UK contractor’s compound in Afghan capital

Car bomb targets UK contractor’s compound in Afghan capital
2018-11-30 14:18:25

KABUL (Reuters) – A car bomb targeted a British security contractor’s compound in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, opening the way for gunmen who battled security forces only hours after President Ashraf Ghani outlined plans for peace in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit a facility of the G4S security group near an industrial park on the main road leading out of Kabul towards eastern Afghanistan.

“A number of gunmen entered the G4S compound right after the car bomb,” said Najib Danish, an Interior Ministry spokesman. “Our forces are fighting the gunmen.”

The complex attack on a well-protected site underlines how insecure Kabul remains despite efforts by the United States and the Afghan government to open peace talks with the Taliban to end more than 17 years of war.

The insurgents’ main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack had caused heavy casualties and had been launched in retaliation for casualties caused by security forces in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar.

G4S, one of the world’s biggest security groups, is one of a number of foreign security contractors operating in Afghanistan and provides guards for the area around the British embassy.

“We can confirm that there has been an incident at one of our locations in Kabul. The situation is ongoing and we are coordinating with Afghan authorities to bring it to a conclusion,” a statement from G4S said.

An official from the public health ministry said 11 wounded had been taken to city hospitals and reporters saw at least one dead body but gathering accurate casualty figures was hampered by the continuing fighting.

Earlier the president, who faces a re-election battle next year, told a U.N.-sponsored conference in Geneva of plans to appoint a team to seek a peace deal, which he said would take at least five years to implement.

Efforts to open talks with the insurgents have picked up following the appointment of U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, but the violence that kills thousands every year has continued.

Three U.S. service members were killed close to the central city of Ghazni on Tuesday and at least 30 Afghan civilians were killed in a U.S. air strike overnight, officials and local residents said.

Last week, more than 50 people were killed in Kabul when a suicide bomber attacked a banquet hall where a meeting of religious leaders was taking place.

Security officials have warned that violence is likely to escalate alongside peace moves as the Taliban seeks to strengthen its position before any formal negotiations.

Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi, Sayed Hassib and Elizabeth O’Leary; writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Alison Williams, Larry King and David Stamp

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Images are for reference only.Images gathered automatic from google.All rights on the images are with their original owners.



Car bomb targets UK contractor’s compound in Afghan capital
2018-11-30 14:18:25

Images are for reference only.Images gathered automatic from google.All rights on the images are with their original owners.

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