Twin suicide bombings in Kandahar, Afghanistan have killed at least 23 and wounded more than 40 outside NATO’s largest base.
The Australian reports that provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told reporters the first bomber used a motorcycle to strike, then the second, who had explosives strapped to his chest, struck as a crowd gathered to help the victims.
According to The Christian Science Monitor, the Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which they stated was aimed at a NATO convoy in the area. They also denied the reports from the Afghan police and government, saying that civilians were not the only ones killed and wounded.
Ahmad Javid Raisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor’s office, state:
“Controlling the suicide attacks is really a hard job. The only two options are, first, to have really strong intelligence, even try to infiltrate the Taliban to get information about suicide bombers. Second, to raise awareness among families and not let the enemies use their children.”
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, stated that the group has so far tried to avoid civilian casualties during suicide attacks, including Wednesday’s. Ahmadi explained that the first bomb in Wednesday’s attack was meant to scare civilians away from the area. He also assured that:
“There will be many more suicide bombings this year, as well as attacks with remote-controlled mines and assassinations. We think Al Farooq [the spring offensive] will be very successful this year.”
Reuters reports that four provincial governors from Afghanistan’s southern region were at the NATO base in Kandahar for a meeting when the suicide bombers struck.