14 Nepalese citizens killed in Kabul suicide attack

Kabul :  The Interior Ministry said that the fourteen Nepalese citizens were killed and nine people were injured after a suicide bomber struck a mini bus in the Afghan capital on Monday.

A suicide bomber approached and targeted the bus carrying personnel of a foreign company at around 5.40 a.m., killing 14 of them, Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

The statement noted that five Nepalese and four Afghans were wounded in the attack which occurred in Banahi area along Pul-e-Charkhi road which is also called Jalalabad road.

The victims were serving as security guards in a foreign embassy in central Kabul, reported TOLO News.

Sediq Sediqi of the Interior Ministry said primary reports revealed the victims were Nepalese nationals who worked for Canada’s embassy in Kabul, Xinhua reported.

The attacker was killed on the spot and the blast also damaged several civilian vehicles and shops near the site.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and the Afghan Interior Ministry condemned the attack.

“I condemn the terrorist attack on those travelling to their work places in Kabul. This attack is an act of terror and intimidation.” Abdullah said in his Twitter account.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since early April when the militant group launched its annual rebel offensive in different places of the country, claiming hundreds of lives including militants, security personnel and civilians.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “strongly condemned the horrible tragedy in Kabul” and offered “deep condolences” to the governments and people of Afghanistan and Nepal.

But Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was yet to confirm casualties of its nationals.

“We are trying to verify the reports via our embassy,” a spokesperson told The Himalayan Times.

Nepal has no embassy in Afghanistan. Its mission in Islamabad is also responsible for Afghan affairs.