15 civilians killed in Afghan airstrike, bomb attack

By: News Desk      Published: 04:24 PM, 10 Jan, 2021
15 civilians killed in Afghan airstrike, bomb attack

At least 15 civilians were killed in an airstrike in Nimruz province and a bomb attack in Kabul, reported TOLOnews on Sunday.

According to Nimrus provincial council head Baz Mohammad Nasir, the airstrike took place in Munazari village in Khashrod district. Nasir added the “Taliban were also targeted but there are no reports on their casualties yet.” 

However, local government officials and security officials have not yet commented on the airstrike. Also, the Taliban has not yet commented.

Meanwhile, three people were killed -- including Zia Wadan, a spokesman for the Public Protection Force -- in an explosion in Kabul on Sunday morning, the Interior Ministry confirmed. 

The blast occurred around 8:30am local time in the Kart-e-Naw area of PD8 in Kabul city.

“Zia Wadan and two of his colleagues were killed and another person was wounded,” said the statement, adding: “It happened while Wadan was on his way to the office."

Earlier, a security source said that three people were killed and two were wounded. 

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Interior Ministry blamed the Taliban.

President Ghani condemned the blast and called it “a crime against humanity and against Islamic values.”

“The increase of violence by the Taliban shows that the group opposes the spirit of peace and is not committed to peace, and the group seeks to kill innocent people and damage public facilities,” President Ghani said.

AFP adds: The murder of Zia Wadan, who previously worked for several media networks, appeared to be the latest in a series of targeted killings that have rocked Afghanistan, especially Kabul.

Wadan and his colleagues were killed in morning rush-hour traffic in an eastern part of the capital, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told reporters. "A vehicle carrying Zia Wadan was targeted with an IED... as a result, Wadan and two of his colleagues were killed," Arian said, adding that another person was wounded. 

Wadan was spokesman for the National Public Protection Force (NPPF), a security service under the interior ministry that deploys guards to international organisations across Afghanistan

Violence has surged across the country in recent months, and a new trend of targeted killings has sowed fear, especially in Kabul.

High-profile figures including journalists, politicians and rights activists have increasingly been targeted despite peace talks between the government and Taliban.

Since November, five journalists, a deputy governor of Kabul and a prominent election activist have been among those murdered in targeted killings.

Last week the US military blamed the Taliban for these largely unclaimed targeted killings, the first time Washington has directly accused the insurgent group of the murders.