Kabul, Afghanistan: A Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car near the international airport in Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, killing at least three people and wounding 18 in an attack that appears to have targeted vehicles of the European Union police training mission, officials said.
A spokeswoman for EUPOL, Sari Haukka-Konu, said that one non-mission member who was travelling in an EUPOL vehicle had been killed. She had no details on the nationality or identity of the deceased.
“All mission members who were in the vehicle are in a safe place and their injuries are not believed to be fatal,” she told The Associated Press. “A non-EUPOL person inside the vehicle is deceased.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said two Afghan women were killed in the blast. He described them as “passers-by.”
Of the 18 wounded, he said eight were women and three were children. He said three foreigners had been wounded. EUPOL’s website said three of its personnel had sustained non-fatal injuries.
The car bomb was detonated near the office of the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority, which is a few hundred meters (yards) from the airport terminal, early Sunday morning, said Najib Danish, the deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
Nearby homes and shops were damaged, and the road – choked with traffic throughout the day as vehicles pass through a slow-moving checkpoint into the airport – was strewn with the charred remains of a number of cars.
Danish said that one foreign vehicle and two civilian vehicles were damaged in the blast. EUPOL’s Haukka-Konu said two of the mission’s cars were moving in convoy “but only one was involved in the blast.”
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement emailed to media. The Taliban, who have waged war in Afghanistan for more than a decade, launched their warm weather offensive in late April.
The insurgents claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kabul guesthouse last week that left 14 people dead, including nine foreigners.
Earlier Sunday, a magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle exploded in the eastern suburbs of Kabul, wounding one person, Sediqqi said.
And late Saturday, an explosion inside the campus of Kabul University wounded two people, he said.