Nato contractors among 12 killed in Kabul bombing

Taliban denies responsibility for suicide attack on Nato convoy that left dozens wounded.

Afghan security forces and British soldiers inspect the site of a suicide attack on a Nato convoy in Kabul on August 22, 2015, that killed at least 12 people. Massoud Hossaini / AP Photo
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KABUL // At least 12 people including three Nato contractors were killed on Saturday when a suicide car bomber struck a foreign forces convoy, officials said, underlining the precarious security situation in the Afghan capital.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the blast, which struck outside a civilian hospital in Kabul following a wave of fatal bombings earlier this month that rattled the city.

The piercing explosion in a residential neighbourhood reverberated around Kabul and left a trail of devastation, including twisted wreckage of burning vehicles with officials seen piling up bloodied bodies in a police pickup truck.

A foreigner was among 12 people killed in the blast, with 66 others — including women and children — wounded, health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said on Twitter.

Senior health official Sayed Kabir Amiri confirmed that toll from the attack, which comes as Taliban insurgents escalate their annual summer offensive against the US-backed Afghan government.

“One Resolute Support (Nato) contracted civilian was killed in the attack and two others died of wounds as a result of the attack,” Nato said in a statement.

US-led Nato forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan in December last year, although a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the group was not behind the attack.

The insurgents are known to distance themselves from attacks that result in a large number of civilian casualties.

Saturday’s blast comes amid heightened security in Kabul after a wave of bombings earlier this month that killed more than 50 people and wounded hundreds, prompting fury from president Ashraf Ghani who blamed Pakistan for failing to rein in Taliban insurgents.

The surge in lethal attacks has left the war-scarred city on edge.

Tempers flared at the scene of Saturday’s bombing, with a young Afghan man fighting back tears as he screamed: “Why are they killing us?”

* Agence France-Presse