Two brutal suicide attacks rocked Afghanistan on Tuesday after the Taliban hit a bus carrying government officials near the capital of Kabul, and successfully carried out another attack a short while later in the province of Kandahar to the south.
USA Today reported that the blast in Kabul, which killed 31 and wounded 76 others, occurred during rush hour on the busy Darulaman Road, located near a privatized American university and a compound which houses the Afghan Parliament. The bus carrying staff was attacked shortly after it exited the government compound.
CNN reported that the Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Seddiqi, said that the violence began when a suicide attacker who was traveling on foot detonated a bomb near the van.
Local district police chief, Ahmad Wali, stated that the second device was detonated when police arrived on the scene to help victims of the preliminary blast. CNN also reported that Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid stated that the attack was aimed at members of the Afghanistan intelligence agency.
The attack to the south, in the province of Kandahar, destroyed a guesthouse in the local Governor’s compound where a gathering was being held. Al Jazeera reported that 11 were killed and another 17 were wounded, including the U.A.E ambassador to Afghanistan, Juma al-Kaabi.
Yama Quraishi, head of Afghanistan’s passport section in Washington DC, was killed in the attack. The Taliban denies the attack in Kandahar, however, and instead points to local infighting and rivalries in the province.