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Taliban kills dozens in suicide attack targeting police cadets in Afghanistan

Two bombers attacked buses carrying police cadets on their way to the capital on Thursday, killing 27 people and wounding dozens more on the western outskirts of Kabul.
June 30, 2016, 11:50am
Photo by Omar Sobhani/Reuters

Two Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 30 people and wounded dozens more in an attack on Thursday on buses carrying recent police cadet graduates on the western outskirts of Kabul.

Three buses were attacked as they approached the capital from neighboring Wardak province, a police official said, according to preliminary information from officials.

"Initial information we have is that two suicide bombers were involved and there are many casualties," he told Reuters, declining to be identified by name.


The Interior Ministry updated earlier figures, putting the latest death toll at 30 people and saying another 58 were wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the first attack targeted a bus carrying police cadets and their instructors. Then, as rescuers and emergency services arrived, the second bomber rammed his car, packed with explosives, into their vehicles, killing dozens.

The attacks underline the deadly threat to security in Afghanistan just over a week before a NATO summit in Warsaw where leaders are expected to discuss whether to maintain support for the Kabul government.

Under new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, who took over last month after his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a US drone strike, the Taliban have made clear that they will continue attacks against the Western-backed government.

The latest suicide bombings, in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, come 10 days after an attack on a bus carrying Nepali security guards working for the Canadian embassy in Kabul that killed 14 people.

In April, at least 64 people were killed in a Taliban attack on a security services facility in Kabul in the deadliest bombing of its kind in Afghanistan since 2011.

Last week, the top UN official in Afghanistan warned of the danger of a new spiral of violence following recent suicide attacks and a spate of highway kidnappings by the Taliban.

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