Militants attacked an international charity in Kabul yesterday during an assault labelled a war crime by Amnesty, as the capital reeled from a wave of violence that has killed at least 41 and injured more than 100.
The assault on Care International began late on Monday with a massive car bombing, just hours after the Taliban carried out a brazen double bombing near the defence ministry.
A plume of smoke rose over the upmarket neighbourhood of Shar-e Naw after the raid on the charity.
It remains unclear which compound was the intended target of the attack, which left piles of rubble and shards of broken glass strewn across the area.
“An armed group launched an attack on what is believed to have been an Afghan government compound located close to the Kabul office of Care,” the charity said, adding that its staff had been safely evacuated.
“The incident continued through early Tuesday morning with damage sustained to the Care compound.”
The Interior Ministry said 42 people, including 10 foreigners, had been rescued, but no one had been killed.
No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the raid on the charity, but it comes as the Taliban ramp up their nationwide offensive against the US-backed government.
The attack on Care International “is the deliberate targeting of civilians and constitutes a war crime”, Amnesty said, calling for an independent probe to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The attack had been preceded by twin Taliban blasts that killed at least 41 people during the city’s rush hour on Monday, including high-level officials, and left 110 others injured.
The second of the two explosions struck just as soldiers, policemen and civilians hurried to help the victims of the first blast, which occurred on a bridge near the ministry.
High-level defence officials were among those killed, including a young military officer — and further compounding the tragedy, his mother also died as soon as she heard of his death.
Ambulances rushed to the scene, littered with disfigured bodies and charred debris.
But there were so many bodies that some had to be taken to hospitals in car boots and the back of police trucks.
Firemen raced to retrieve some bodies thrown into the Kabul River by the intensity of the first blast on the bridge.
Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said the casualties from the double bombing could rise still further as some of the injured were battling for their lives in hospital.