At least six Afghan security forces were killed and 10 wounded in a suicide car bombing claimed by the Taliban in the restive northern Baghlan province, officials confirmed on Thursday.
Abbas Tawkali, a spokesman for the Afghan National Army, said the suicide car bombing was followed by a gunfight on the outskirts of the provincial capital Pul-e-Khumri. “The suicide bomber was spotted before he could reach the target and was fired upon by the security forces, compelling the attacker to blow up explosives,” he told Anadolu Agency.
The Taliban, on the other hand, claimed to have inflicted “heavy losses” on the army.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed tweeted that up to 50 security forces were “killed and wounded” in this assault.
A day earlier, the same province saw a brazen assault on a group of deminers, killing at least 10 in cold blood and wounding 16 others.
The deminers were associated with the Halo Trust, a British charity and YS non-profit that “since 1988 has been destroying explosive items in Afghanistan.”
– Halo Trust committed to Afghanistan
The Halo Trust, the victim of Wednesday’s deadly armed assault on deminers, on Thursday vowed not to leave the war-ravaged country.
“We could be fearful of what is happening in Afghanistan… We have been through all up and downs of life and deaths in Afghanistan. We are going to stay, we are there for the people for Afghanistan and we still have a job to be done,” James Cowan, the trust’s CEO, said in a statement.
According to UN estimates, there are some 120 mine-related civilian casualties in Afghanistan every month, while the International Campaign to Ban Landmines recorded 1,538 fatalities due to land mines in the country in 2019.
The Taliban, however, issued a swift denial.
In an online video, the group’s spokesperson said eyewitness had confirmed that Daesh/ISIS terrorists carried out the attack.
The BBC also quoted Cowan as saying that “the local Taliban … came to our aid and scared the assailants off.”