An attack on a NATO convoy in Central Kabul has left at least eight Afghan civilians. US Navy Captain Bill Salvin has confirmed that three US service members were injured in the blast. A number of civilian vehicles were also impacted, resulting in at least twenty-five injuries, according to Najib Danish, Deputy Spokesman for the Interior Ministry. The attack occurred when a vehicle, which was laden with explosives, was set off at a National Defense Security (NDS) checkpoint on Shash Darak road in the central Macroyan area early on Wednesday morning. The bombing occurred near the US embassy and a NATO-run compound in the area.
According to Al Jazeera, “The injured were transferred to two hospitals in the area; the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital and the Emergency Hospital.” Some of those injured are currently in critical condition.
The Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the attack. This attack follows a recent announcement by Taliban forces of a “spring offensive” that is meant to focus on foreign soldiers. The IS is currently at war with both the Taliban and the United States-backed government. The Taliban and IS both wish to overthrow the Afghan government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law, but differ in leadership and tactics.
A recent United Nations report has shown that Kabul province has had the highest number of civilian casualties in the first quarter of this year.
The United States currently has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan. Last month, United States General John Nicholson, the top commander in Afghanistan, called for thousands of additional troops to fend off the “spring offensive” of the Taliban. Kabul supported this measure. Nicholson told the United States’ Congress that extra troops were needed to end the stalemate in the war.
Separate from General Nicholson’s request, the Pentagon has claimed it will deploy around 300 Marines this spring to the Helmand province. The Marines will assist NATO in a mission to train Afghan forces. Al Jazeera calls this the latest sign that foreign forces are being drawn back into the “worsening conflict.”