International Reactions to the Second Suicide Attack on Taliban’s Foreign Ministry
By: Amin Kawa
At least thirty diplomats from the former republic regime have been killed and around fifty others have been injured in two suicide bombings on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the past three months under the rule of the Taliban. The Khorasan affiliate of ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, some former diplomats have suggested that the suicide bombings on the ministry were actually caused by internal conflicts among the Taliban. Former political figures have argued that the Taliban are seeking revenge against them and are responsible for the suicide attacks on the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan, using ISIS as a cover. They have also noted that the Taliban were unable to carry out any suicide attacks during the twenty years of the former republic regime in Afghanistan. There have been both national and international reactions to the deadly attacks on Monday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building was closed when an explosion occurred at 1:00 am on March 27. The Taliban reported that six civilians were killed and twelve more were injured in the attack. Khalid Zadran, spokesperson for the Taliban security command in Kabul, reported that Taliban members had killed a “suicide attacker“ before they reached the checkpoint in Malek Asghar Road in Kabul‘s second district. He added that the suicide bomber was already dead when the explosives detonated, resulting in the death of civilians and the injury of three Taliban members.
On Monday, March 27, Khalid Zekriya, Afghanistan‘s former ambassador to Italy, tweeted that a suicide attack had resulted in the death of four employees of the Foreign Ministry and the injury of ten others. Subsequently, Mr. Zekriya posted pictures of those killed in the attack, expressing his sorrow in the following words: “We have once again been made aware of the tragic news of four civilians being killed and ten skilled and talented colleagues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul during the holy month of Ramadan.”
Sources informed Hasht–e Subh that four diplomats from the Taliban‘s Foreign Ministry had been killed. However, the sources did not provide Hasht–e–Subh with any details regarding the victims who had been injured in the attack. The Emergency Hospital in Kabul reported that two civilians had been killed and 12 others, including a child, had been injured.
Later, Amaaq, an ISIS–affiliated website, took responsibility for the attack near the Taliban‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The national reaction to this fatal suicide bombing has been very strong. Many have asserted that the Taliban are unable to protect the people of Afghanistan and that these suicide attacks are something the Taliban used to do in Afghanistan, which are contrary to Islamic teachings and inhumane. Furthermore, some Afghans have accused the Taliban of perpetrating the suicide attack on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In an interview with Hasht–e Subh, Ahmadullah, a resident of Kabul, stated that the Taliban had been taught to commit suicide for twenty years, but are now pursuing other objectives. He went on to say, “They killed a second suicide bomber amidst the conflicts between the Taliban leaders. It is a terrible situation; may God have mercy on this country. Nevertheless, people will continue to live in hardship regardless of the new leadership. Eventually, people will witness their suffering.”
Sibghatullah Saes, a resident of Kabul, expressed his belief that the Taliban had failed to provide security for the citizens of Afghanistan. He further commented, “The Taliban had a tendency to make grandiose claims about security and other matters, but they are now unable to resolve their own disputes. The Taliban and ISIS are similar in that they both seek to destroy Afghanistan, even though they have different objectives.”
Some political figures have denounced the suicide attack as a “crime against humanity.” On Monday, March 27, Hamed Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, released a statement strongly condemning the attack on the ministry. The ex–president referred to the suicide attacks as “violating Islamic and human values, terroristic, and a crime against humanity.”
Abdullah Abdullah, the leader of the Supreme Reconciliation Council in the former republic government, strongly condemned the attack on the employees of the Taliban‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and declared it a breach of human and Islamic rights.
The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan, the United Nations, and the European Union have all denounced this attack. The Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) denounced the attack and declared the killing of civilians to be unacceptable. According to the statement from UNAMA, several civilians had been killed in the attack. Additionally, the European Union mission in Afghanistan has emphatically stated the importance of bringing the conflict to a close. According to the EU, the explosion that occurred in front of the Taliban‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulted in several innocent civilians being killed and injured.
On Monday, March 27, Thomas West, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, declared that the Afghan people have suffered enough from the suicide attack near the Taliban‘s Foreign Ministry. He also asserted that terrorism is inexcusable for any reason and in any location, describing the attack on the Taliban‘s Foreign Ministry as “horrific news.”
This was not the initial suicide attack conducted when the Taliban were in power. The ISIS Khorasan branch has been blamed for executing two additional suicide attacks in the Balkh province.
On March 9, a suicide attack by ISIS resulted in the death of Dawood Muzamil, the Taliban‘s commander in Balkh and one of their most influential figures in southern Afghanistan. A report published by Militri.com following the attack in Afghanistan showed that Dawood Muzamil‘s murder was indicative of ISIS‘ growing influence among the Taliban. Subsequently, the Tabian Center in Balkh was targeted in a second attack, which left three people dead and more than 30 others injured. This incident occurred while reporters were gathered at the Tabian Center for the “National Day of Journalists“ ceremony, and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
General Michael Kurilla, the Chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM), issued a warning in response to ISIS attacks in Afghanistan, stating that ISIS would be able to attack both Asia and Europe within the next six months. The Taliban then rejected the claims made by the U.S. authorities regarding the number of ISIS members operating in Afghanistan, accusing the U.S. of supporting ISIS, which they claimed had been defeated and did not exist in Afghanistan. However, the Taliban recently reported that their members had killed three top commanders of ISIS in Afghanistan.