The death toll from a huge car bomb attack in Afghanistan’s capita,l Kabul, on Tuesday has more than doubled, according to the government.
An interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said on Wednesday that most of those killed by the blast, which hit a security agency office in the heart of the city, were civilians.
“It is with regret that I announce that 64 people were killed and 347 others wounded in yesterday’s Kabul attack,” Sediqqi said.
The assault, claimed by the Taliban, was the group’s first major attack in Kabul since it announced the beginning of its annual spring offensive, and probably the biggest such incident to hit the capital since 2001.
The Taliban had warned that they would “employ large-scale attacks on enemy positions across the country” during the offensive, which has been dubbed Operation Omari in honour of the movement’s late founder Mullah Omar.
Meanwhile residents of Kabul are living in a state of constant fear, as Ibrahimi, a Kabul resident who witnessed the attack, told Al Jazeera: “We live in constant fear and have nowhere to escape to. The government needs to step up their game and prove themselves stronger than the Taliban.”
According to a Kabul hospital, nine children were among the wounded in the attack.
“The attacks are merciless. We are the most affected by these attacks. Our children die and no one is here to ask about them or us,” Massoud, another Kabul resident, told Al Jazeera.
“It’s violence everywhere, and this is the kind of environment our children are growing up in. Either the Taliban should take over completely or the government has to prevent these attacks and create a better environment for us.”
The Taliban has stepped up attacks since foreign troops ended combat operations last year and has claimed a series of assaults on foreign targets in and around Kabul.
- Pray for Afghanistan, as the Taliban step up their attacks.Pray for the government to be strong and for the Taliban’s offensive to be unsuccessful.
- Pray for the people of Afghanistan, especially those living in Kabul. Pray that fear will not rule this city and country, but that many people will encounter the perfect love of Christ that casts out all fear, and come to trust in the One who loves them holds them in His hands.
- Pray for peace in this nation, and for a move of the Holy Spirit across Afghanistan, that will bring an end to conflict and violence.
Isaiah 35 vs 3 – 4: “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’“