Afghanistan: Deadly Bomb Blast at Kabul Military Checkpoint

A suicide bombing at a Taliban military checkpoint outside the Kabul airport killed at least 14 people and wounded another 18 on Sunday, with the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claiming responsibility for the attack.

Afghanistan: Deadly Bomb Blast at Kabul Military Checkpoint
Image credit: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • A suicide bombing at a Taliban military checkpoint outside the Kabul airport killed at least 14 people and wounded another 18 on Sunday, with the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claiming responsibility for the attack.
  • The attack targeted the military area of the airport, which is around 200 meters (219 yards) from the civilian airport and close to the Interior Ministry — which was the site of a suicide bombing last October that killed at least four.
  • A spokesman for the Taliban-run interior ministry said that an investigation into the attack was underway. Security forces reportedly sealed off the area and closed all roads.
  • This latest attack comes after ISKP militants two weeks ago stormed a popular hotel in Kabul, the Longan hotel, killing three and injuring 18, with multiple Chinese nationals among the wounded.
  • The militant group in recent weeks has also attacked the Russian and Pakistani embassies as well as the office of the country’s former prime minister. Last week, a bomb in Taluqan city killed four with another in Badkshan city killing a police officer.
  • The ISKP insurgency began before the Taliban's return to power in 2021. However, since then, it has increased its attacks across the country, in many cases targeting the Taliban or Afghanistan's Shi'ite minority.

Sources: Atlas News, New York Post, Independent, Improve the News, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Diplomat. The latest devastating bombing reminds the world that, despite some claims, the Taliban are incapable of providing security for the Afghan people. On the contrary, the ISKP's terror campaign is rampant, and the ISIS offshoot is busy infiltrating Central, South, and West Asia. By continuing to suppress Afghan ethnic and religious minorities, the Taliban regime is playing into the hands of the ISKP, contributing to the surge of local terror.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. That Afghanistan would descend into chaos under the repressive Taliban regime, and thus set the stage for rampant ISKP terror, was predictable prior to the disgraceful US withdrawal from the country. Hence, there were justified calls for Washington, with NATO support, to leave some troops in the country. To prevent at least the worst humanitarian hardships for Afghans, Washington must not turn its back on the country now. The West and its institutions bear some responsibility.