At least six people were killed and 12 injured in a bomb attack on Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh’s convoy in central Kabul on Wednesday. He is the first vice president known for his hostility to the Taliban.
It was with his hand covered by a bandage that Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh returned to the attack he suffered in central Kabul on Wednesday, September 9. “This morning when we were on our way to my office, our convoy was attacked. I’m fine, but some of my guards were injured,” he said in a video posted on Facebook. “I have burns on my face and hand,” the former head of the Afghan intelligence service added.
>> To read: Amrullah Saleh, “survivor” of Afghan politics
Six people were killed and twelve people were injured, says Akmal Samsoorn, spokesman for the Ministry of Health to AFP. Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian confirmed the attack, adding that two dead and 12 injured had been identified so far.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack. “Today’s explosion has nothing to do with us,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.
According to a deputy president, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the convoy when Amrullah Saleh went to his office.
Abdullah, a trader who, like many Afghans, only uses one name, said his window was smashed in the explosion. “A store that sells gas cylinders also caught fire and caused the cylinders to explode,” he added.
“It’s a war involving blood”
Amrullah Saleh was known for his hostile positions against the Taliban and had already escaped an assassination attempt last summer during the presidential campaign, when a suicide bomber and armed men attacked his office. The attack left at least 20 dead, mostly civilians and 50 wounded.
A few months later, he trusted the Indian site The Print. “It’s a serious fight. It’s not a war of words. It’s a war involving blood. They did not risk missing me, but they did, they did. Were missing,” he commented, adding that “the brain (of the attack) was ISI “, the powerful military intelligence service in Pakistan, of which he condemned” the appalling interference and manipulation of Afghan society “.
In a tweet, the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned this new attack. “It is a relief that the first vice president is unharmed,” Islamabad continued, accusing Kabul and Washington of supporting the Taliban, which Pakistan denies.
“The first test for the Taliban is a ceasefire”
Wednesday’s attack comes when the Afghan negotiating team and the Taliban will soon start groundbreaking peace talks in Qatar.
On Sunday, Amrullah Saleh said the Taliban’s commitment to peace would be measured from the start of negotiations, when the Kabul delegation pressed for a permanent ceasefire. “The first test for the Taliban is (a) ceasefire,” Amrullah Saleh said in an interview with Tolo News, a private Afghan television station.
“If they accept a ceasefire, they are committed to peace. If this is not the case, they are not,” he insisted. While preparations are underway for the Doha talks, the violence has not stopped.
On Tuesday, the Afghan president’s spokesman accused the Taliban of daily attacks across the country.
“These attacks are shattering the hopes of millions of Afghans who dream of peace and who are anxious for peace talks to begin and for violence to end,” he wrote on Twitter.
Scheduled for March, the opening of an unparalleled peace dialogue between the two camps has been postponed several times due to disagreements over a prisoner exchange that is now almost complete.
The date of their launch has not yet been set as several countries, including France and Australia, oppose the release of the last six prisoners, guilty of killing several of their citizens. According to Amrullah Saleh, these prisoners will be transferred to Qatar.