ISIS suicide car bomb attack on US convoy in Afghanistan leaves 8 dead and 28 wounded including 3 American soldiers
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Eight civilians were killed and another 28 people wounded, including three American soldiers, when an ISIS suicide bomber attacked a US convoy in Afghanistan.
The convoy was passing close to the American embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul during the morning rush-hour on Wednesday when the attack happened.
A militant drove a car packed with explosives into traffic before a powerful blast ripped vehicles apart and left a crater in the middle of the road.
NATO confirmed three coalition soldiers had received ‘non-life threatening wounds’.
‘(They) are in stable condition, and are currently being treated at coalition medical facilities,’ a spokesman for US Forces-Afghanistan said.
The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq media arm.
The blast, which NATO said was an improvised explosive device, damaged two heavily armoured Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles carrying the soldiers.
An ISIS affiliate has gathered strength in Afghanistan in recent years, and is now at war with both the U.S.-backed government and the much larger Taliban insurgency.
Afghan forces have struggled to combat both groups since the U.S. and NATO officially concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a support and counterterrorism role. The U.S. has more than 8,000 troops in the country.
The Taliban and ISIS both aspire to overthrow the Afghan government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law, but they are fiercely divided over leadership and tactics.
The militants announced their ‘spring offensive’ last week normally marks an upsurge in fighting during warmer weather, though this winter the Taliban continued to battle government forces.
Already beset by killings, desertions, and struggles over leadership and morale, they faced ‘shockingly high’ casualties in 2016 and the first part of 2017, according to a US watchdog SIGAR.
The report did not include a massacre at a base near northern Mazar-i-Sharif last month which saw militants dressed in army uniforms slaughter at least 144 Afghan recruits, according to a US official.
With more than one third of Afghanistan outside of government control, civilians also continue to bear a heavy brunt, with thousands killed and wounded each year and children paying an increasingly disproportionate price, according to UN figures.
Kabul province had the highest number of civilian casualties in the first quarter of the year due to attacks in the capital, a recent UN report showed. Most were carried out by the Taliban, though Islamic State claimed several which targeted Afghanistan’s Shiite minority.
The UN had called on all groups to ‘take every measure possible to prevent unnecessary and unacceptable harm to Afghan civilians’.
Source: Daily Mail