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11 Feb, 2020 04:10

At least 5, including civilians, killed in suicide blast near military academy in Kabul

At least 5, including civilians, killed in suicide blast near military academy in Kabul

A suicide attack has struck near the main entrance of a military academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, local media report. The blast has led to at least five casualties, with ambulances rushing to the scene.

The explosion rocked the area in the immediate vicinity of Marshal Fahim military academy’s gate in Kabul at about 7:00 am local time – when students and staff were streaming into the building, TOLO News reported, citing witnesses.

A video purportedly showing the aftermath of the incident has emerged online.

Afghan Interior Minister spokesman Nasrat Rahimi has confirmed that two civilians were among those killed, along with three Afghan soldiers. Twelve others were injured, five of them non-combatants.

Several ambulance cars were seen heading to the site of the incident shortly after it was reported.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mohammad Fahim – also known as “Marshal Fahim” – served as both defense minister and vice president of Afghanistan following the ouster of the Taliban controlled government in 2001, and led a group of anti-Taliban fighters alongside the US coalition that invaded the country after the 9/11 attacks. He died in 2014. 

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The blast comes just days after a militant posing as an Afghan Army soldier opened fire on a combined US-Afghan unit in Nangarhar province, killing two American soldiers and injuring six others, the latest in a series of similar attacks. While no group claimed responsibility for the shooting, both the Taliban and groups linked with the Islamic State are known to be active in the region.

The US military presence in Afghanistan, now at an estimated 13,000 troops, continues after nearly two decades of conflict. While the initial US invasion in 2001 was intended to oust the Taliban government that for a time hosted Osama bin Laden and other plotters of the 9/11 attacks, after 19 years the American mission has lost focus, with the Taliban only gaining in strength and territory as the endless occupation grinds on.

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