Attack on Acting Defense Minister’s House Raises Questions

Residents, lawmakers in Parliament and military strategists on Wednesday raised questions about the deadly car bomb attack on the residence of acting Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi on Tuesday night in which at least eight people, including a woman, were killed and 20 more were wounded.

Military experts and residents in Kabul said that the complex attack on the house of the defense minister indicates the weakness of the country’s security agencies, calling it shameful and irresponsible.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, warning that the group will plan more attacks on government officials.

Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans on Tuesday night chanted the slogan Allah Akbar (God is the greatest) from the roofs of their houses to voice their support for the country’s national security and defense forces.

Defense Minister Mohammadi, in response to the attack, said that such attacks by the Taliban will not demoralize Afghan forces in their defense of the nation.

“You cannot easily cross this road if there is a small pack with you,” said Abdul Qasim Rahimi, a resident in Kabul. (meaning?)

A TOLOnews reporter who visited the blast scene said that the explosive device was planted near a security tower which is under the control of NDS forces. Two NDS officers, two children and an elderly man are among the wounded.

“I heard a child who was collecting papers from the street who was screaming, and some others–including NDS personnel–who had head wounds,” said Parwiz Hamdard, a resident of Kabul.

The attack took place at around 8pm local time in the Shirpoor area in Kabul’s District 10 where many houses of high-ranking government officials are located.

The attack began when a car bomb was detonated close to the house of Mohammadi and then four gunmen entered a nearby house and fought against security guards.

The security forces arrived at the scene shortly after the attack and ambulances were also seen leaving the area within an hour of the start of the incident.

“All three institutions–including the intelligence and reconnaissance sectors–are weak,” said MP Hashem Alokozai.

“If the same situation continues, there is a possibility that the trust that the people have for the security and intelligence agencies will decline,” said military strategist Hekmatullah Hekmat.

“When explosives are planted under a security tower, then it is very shameful,” said Khawja Abdul Sattar, Kabul resident.

“When they do not agree to a ceasefire, they will never abide by other commitments they have made,” said MP Ibdallullah Mohammadi.

“I assure you that these attacks will not cause the slightest disruption to our spirit and determination to defend you and our country,” said Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi.

Tuesday night’s attack marks the first complex attacks by the Taliban after the official announcement of the US forces withdrawal from the country.