At least 30 people have been killed by a huge explosion in Afghanistan this afternoon, a senior official has said.
As many as 60 other people were also injured by the car bomb which exploded around 7pm local time in Pul-a Alam, the provincial capital of Logar, provincial council leader Hasibullah Stanekzai said.
Stanekzai also said that the car packed with explosives targeted a guesthouse in the city where dozens of people were living – including university students.
In Afghanistan, guest houses are lodgings often provided for free by the government, usually for the poor, travelers and students.
Stanekzai said that among the casualties were highschool students who had been staying at the house, having travelled to the capital to sit their university entrance exam, as well as pro-government militia members who were staying there while waiting for air transport to another distinct.
The blast detonated near the home of the former head of the provincial council and not far from a hospital, Didar Lawang, the spokesman for Logar’s governor, said.
As many as 60 other people were also injured by the car bomb which exploded around 7pm local time in Pul-a Alam, the provincial capital of Logar, provincial council leader Hasibullah Stanekzai said
A ministry of interior official and a spokesman for Logar’s governor confirmed the blast but did not comment on the number of casualties.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.
Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said that the death toll from Friday’s blast could rise.
A ministry of health spokesman said around 40 people had been taken to hospital, some in a critical condition.
The European Union’s delegation to Afghanistan condemned the attack.
‘In the holy month of Ramadan, horrible news on a car bomb in Pul-e-Alam, Logar province, killing and injuring innocent civilians, including students….this is a tragedy for the whole country,’ it said on Twitter.
Violence in Afghanistan has escalated in recent weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would withdraw troops by September 11 to end two decades of foreign military presence.
There was no indication the bombing was connected to the pullout and there are no U.S. or NATO troops in Logar.
President Joe Biden said he was pulling the remaining 2,500 U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks because the U.S. has ‘accomplished’ the mission.
‘I said, along with others, we’d follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell if need be. That’s exactly what we did. And we got him … That was 10 year ago. Think about that,’ Biden said from the White House earlier this month.
‘Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear,’ he said.
It would end America’s Longest War that has cost more than $2trillion and taken the lives of more than 2,300 U.S, soldiers.
That decision angered the Taliban who had signed a deal with previous U.S. President Donald Trump that specified troops would be gone from the country by May 1 subject to certain security guarantees.
At least 30 people have been killed by a huge explosion near a hospital in the city of Pul-a Alam in the eastern Afghanistan province of Logar this afternoon, a senior official has said
Nearly all British troops will also be withdrawn from Afghanistan following Joe Biden’s announcement that US forces would leave by September 11.
Britain has now drawn up plans to hand over control of the ‘Sandhurst in the sand’ academy in Kabul where troops help to train Afghan soldiers to the government, the Times reports.
There are about 750 British soldiers in Afghanistan who would struggle without US support because of the reliance on the country’s bases and infrastructure, reports say.
As at July 2015, a total of 454 British forces personnel or Ministry of Defence civilians have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in October 2001.
Of those, 405 were killed as a result of hostile action. 49 are known to have died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries or accidents, or have not yet officially been assigned a cause of death.
Following a helicopter crash on 11 October 2015, 2 further UK personnel have died while serving in Afghanistan, taking the total number of military deaths to 456.
Most British troops in Afghanistan are involved in a mission in the capital involving transporting VIPs.