Eighteen killed in Afghan bank bombings

Saturday, February 19, 2011

KABUL - Eighteen people were killed and 70 wounded Saturday after bombers targeted a bank in eastern Afghanistan, a government spokesman said.

Seven bombers stormed a branch of Kabul Bank in Jalalabad city, according to Ahmad Zia Abdulzia, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Two bombers detonated their explosives, while five others were killed in a gun battle with Afghan security forces, Abdulzia said.

The attack began in the morning as Afghan security personnel queued up to receive their salaries at the bank.

“Relentless terrorists have attacked innocent people who came to the bank for their daily transactions and collecting their salaries,” President Hamid Karzai said.

He condemned the attack as an “un-Islamic act” by “terrorists who would not let Afghan civilians continue their life peacefully”. The president’s office had earlier said that three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the bank.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Insurgents blatantly targeted Afghan civilians in this truly vile attack on the people of Afghanistan,” NATO spokesman Rear Admiral Vic Beck said in a statement.

“We will continue working with the Afghan government in bringing those responsible to justice.”

Meanwhile, a NATO-led international security assistance force soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan Saturday, the alliance said in a statement.

Saturday’s attacks came a day after a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle in the southeastern city of Khost, killing eight people and wounding about 40.

Filed under: Terrorism

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