Car bomb kills police officer in Kabul

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack that killed a police officer in Kabul on Dec. 18.
(Massoud Hossaini / Associated Press)

A suicide car bombing Thursday morning killed one police officer and injured three others in east Kabul in the latest deadly attack in the Afghan capital.

Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack in the Tangi Tarakhil area, just outside the city center.

In online statements, the Taliban said its target was a Norwegian government vehicle and said multiple foreigners were killed, but Afghan security officials disputed that account. The insurgent group routinely exaggerates casualties from its attacks.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, and Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said the bombing missed its target, which they did not specify. A police patrol was dispatched to the area after officials received reports of an explosives-laden car headed toward central Kabul.


The attack came a day after Afghan security forces were targeted in three attacks in Helmand province in the south and Nangarhar in the east.

At a parliamentary hearing Wednesday on the increased violence throughout the country, Rahmatullah Nabil, head of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency, cited a security vacuum due to the loss of manpower and technology as most international troops with the U.S.-led NATO coalition depart by the end of the year.

Nabil told lawmakers that of 26 entry points into Kabul, only four were guarded regularly by Afghan security forces. He said that 107 “terrorist cells” operated in the vicinity of Kabul.

More than 4,000 Afghan soldiers and police have died so far this year, making it the deadliest ever for the nation’s security forces, which have taken on the lion’s share of combat operations as coalition forces withdraw.

Latifi is a special correspondent.