Kandahar, Sept 15 (AFP): A suicide attacker driving an explosives-filled vehicle slammed into a convoy of foreign troops in southern Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, with reports of several soldiers wounded.
The Taliban claimed the attack which Kandahar provincial governor spokesman Fazal Bari Baryalai told AFP ‘totally destroyed’ one of the vehicles carrying Romanian soldiers in Daman district. Afghan and NATO officials could not confirm reports of casualties but in a WhatsApp message to journalists Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said ‘seven invading forces’ were killed.
The militants routinely exaggerate battlefield claims. Provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told AFP the scene had been cordoned off by foreign forces. The Taliban’s latest assault follows the militant group’s pledge to turn Afghanistan into a “graveyard” for foreign forces after US President Donald Trump’s announcement to keep American boots on the ground indefinitely.
Earlier this month two Taliban suicide bombers launched separate attacks around Bagram Airfield, America’s largest base in the country that wounded several US soldiers and civilians. One of those attacks was in direct response to a US leaflet drop in the northern province of Parwan, where Bagram is located, that offended many Muslims in the deeply religious country.
The leaflet depicted a lion chasing a white dog the same colour as the Taliban’s flag with the Islamic statement of faith “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah” superimposed on its body. Dogs are seen as unclean creatures by some Muslims and the association of Islam with a canine angered many people and sparked protests.