On Monday morning, a suicide bomber killed 14 Nepalese security guards in Kabul, Afghanistan. This was part of a wave of terror on Monday, where a bomb on a motorbike killed 10 Afghan civilians and wounded 40 during the morning rush hour in the northeast of the country. Moreover, a second bombing in Kabul killed one and wounded five, including a provincial council member, who was the presumptive target of the attack. What makes the first attack peculiar is that the 14 people killed were security guards from Nepal who were on their way to the Canadian embassy.
The guards were travelling in a minibus when the explosion took place, a Nepalese guard reports. The Canadian Embassy quickly condemned the attacks on the security company, but also added that there had been no attack on embassy’s premises. The Canadian Prime Minister also condemned the attack in a tweet earlier on Monday morning. The blast has been described as the work of a “terrorist suicide bomber” by the Afghan Interior Ministry, which also confirmed that all 14 people killed in the attack were Nepalese citizens.
It is not clear who is responsible for this attack. In a statement to the media, a Taliban spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate also claimed responsibility for the attack. In their statement, the suicide bomber was identified as Erfanullah Ahmed. It remains uncertain as to which group was actually behind this attack. This attack comes in the midst of an increased summer offensive by the Taliban. Moreover, the Islamic State is believed to have increased activity in Afghanistan. Therefore, it is plausible that this attack could have stemmed from either organization.
It is not uncommon that attackers target busses with government employees, or those perceived to be working with the government. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reacted to the attacks later on Monday by condemning them in an official statement. Ghani emphasized the critical timing of this attack. Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim country, is in the middle of Ramadan, the holy month. Ghani describes the insurgents as terrorists that “do not hesitate to kill people even during the holy month of Ramadan.” Clearly, this is a tactic to create and heighten fear among the Afghan people.
If the Afghan government is incapable of keeping the people safe, particularly during Ramadan, more civil unrest does not seem to be far behind. It must also serve as a severe warning sign to the international community that Afghanistan might not be as stable as many hope. Afghanistan, having a long history of invasion, violence and hardship appears to be on the verge of another wave of terror, which is causing severe political instability.