الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Many dead in Afghanistan bank blast

Afghan security forces members inspect the site of a suicide attack near a new Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April, 18, 2015.

The attack targeted government and military workers waiting for their salaries

At least 33 people have been killed and 100 injured in a suicide bomb attack in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

The blast happened outside a bank where government staff and military personnel were collecting their salaries.

A spokesman for a group claiming to represent Islamic State in Afghanistan said it carried out the attack, though the BBC cannot verify the claim.

The BBC’s Shahzheb Jillani in Kabul says it is the largest attack in Jalalabad in many months.

Children are said to be among the victims.

Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, called it a “cowardly and heinous terrorist act”.

Map of Jalalabad
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack near a bank branch in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Police say the bomber attacked the bank on a motorcycle

People survey the shattered windows near the scene of a suicide bomb attack outside the New Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 18 April 2015

A spokesman claiming to represent Islamic State said it carried out the attack on the New Kabul Bank

One eyewitness, Jaweed Khan, said: “I saw many people, dead bodies and injured people on the ground.

“Ambulances arrived very late, and many people died of their wounds.”

Police said another bomb was discovered nearby, and was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Another blast was also reported outside a shrine in Jalalabad on Saturday morning. There are no reported casualties.

A picture made available on 15 October 2014 shows Shahidullah Shahid (C), the former spokesman of Pakistani Taliban speaking to journalists at an undisclosed location near the Pak-Afghan border, 21 February 2014.

Shahidullah Shahid (centre) said IS was responsible for the attack

Shahidullah Shahid, who claims to be a spokesman for Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan, said the group was behind the attack on the bank.

He also named a man who he said was the attacker. The BBC cannot confirm either claim. If confirmed, it would be Islamic State’s first major attack in Afghanistan.

Mr Shahid was a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban until he was fired for pledging allegiance to IS last year.

Afghan security personnel walk through the site of a suicide car bomb attack targeting a NATO convoy near the airport in Jalalabad on April 10,2015

Three people died in an attack on a Nato convoy in Jalalabad on April 10

Jalalabad has been a repeated target for the Taliban in the past year.

After years of Nato intervention, the challenge of fighting extremist groups is now solely in the hands of Afghan forces, but a new report indicates the number of troops and police is falling and creating new security risks.

Only a few thousand Nato troops remain in the country, largely in training roles, after their combat role ended in December.

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