Its going to be a lovely Ramadan


Huge car bomb near German embassy in Kabul, scores killed

Not sure if they will have candlelight vigils in Afghanistan, but the Ramadan bombathon is in full swing.
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Kabul: The Australian Embassy in Kabul was put into lockdown after a powerful car bomb exploded in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital. The blast sent clouds of black smoke spiralling over the centre of the city in an area near the presidential palace and foreign embassies, police said

At least 80 people were killed and 305 injured in the blast near the fortified entrance to the German embassy on Wednesday, a health official said.

Earlier reports:

Kabul bomb blast: Nine  20 dead, scores injured after explosion near embassies in Afghan capital

A powerful car bomb has exploded in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital, sending clouds of black smoke spiralling over the centre of the city in an area near the presidential palace and foreign embassies.

More below the fold….


Afghanistan attack: At least 18 dead in suicide bombing on first day of Ramadan

No group has immediately claimed responsibility, but Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks in the past month


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A spokesman for Afghanistan’s health ministry said the blast had killed nine people and wounded 92 others.

The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, has told a Senate hearing that all of Australia’s diplomatic staff in Kabul were “safe and had been accounted for”.

“Our embassy is in lockdown,” Ms Adamson said.

A Kabul police spokesman said several people were killed and wounded near the fortified entrance to the German embassy.

“It was a car bomb near the German embassy, but there are several other important compounds and offices near there too. It is hard to say what the exact target is,” Mr Mujahid said.

The explosion shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of metres away.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

A spokesman for Taliban insurgents said he was gathering information.

The blast comes one day after a car bombing outside an ice-cream parlour in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which killed more than 20 people including a 12-year-old girl from Melbourne.

Violence around Afghanistan has been rising throughout the year, as the Taliban push to defeat the US-backed Afghan Government and reimpose Islamic law after their 2001 ouster in a Washington-backed invasion.

Since most international troops withdrew at the end of 2014, the Taliban have gained ground and now control or contest about 40 per cent of the country, according to US estimates, though President Ashraf Ghani’s government holds all provincial centres.

US President Donald Trump is due to decide soon on a recommendation to send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to bolster the small NATO training force and US counter-terrorism mission now totalling just over 10,000.

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told a congressional hearing earlier this year that he needed several thousand more troops to help Afghan forces break a “stalemate” with the Taliban.