ISIS claims suicide attack on Nato convoy in Kabul

Yesterday's suicide attack on a Nato convoy of armoured personnel vehicles during Kabul's morning rush hour near the US embassy killed eight civilians and injured at least 25 others.
Yesterday's suicide attack on a Nato convoy of armoured personnel vehicles during Kabul's morning rush hour near the US embassy killed eight civilians and injured at least 25 others.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

KABUL • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing yesterday in the Afghan capital, Kabul, that killed eight civilians in an attack on a convoy of Nato armoured personnel vehicles.

The blast hit the convoy during the morning rush hour in one of the busiest parts of Kabul.

Public health officials said eight civilians were killed and at least 25 wounded, with a number of civilian vehicles that were near the convoy destroyed or badly damaged.

A spokesman for the US-led Nato mission, US Navy Captain Bill Salvin, said three US service members were wounded in the attack.

The vehicles, which are designed to withstand big blasts, were able to return to a base under their own power, he said.

In a statement on its Amaq news agency, ISIS said a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged car as the convoy passed near the United States embassy.

Although the Afghan branch of ISIS operates largely in the eastern province of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan, the movement has also claimed a string of suicide attacks in Kabul.

Firefighters and ambulances rushed stunned survivors to hospital as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani slammed the blast as a "criminal act".

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis warned of "another tough year" for both foreign troops and local forces in Afghanistan when he visited Kabul last month.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg told a German newspaper on Sunday that the 28-nation alliance was considering boosting its troop strength once more, given the "challenging" security situation.

The US has around 8,400 troops in the country with about another 5,000 from Nato allies.

Most are taking part in Nato's train, assist and advise mission, though some are also carrying out counter-terror missions targeting ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2017, with the headline 'ISIS claims suicide attack on Nato convoy in Kabul'. Print Edition | Subscribe