Kabul’s Bloody Month; 33 Dead and 130 Injured in 30 Days

Residents of the capital these days start their mornings with the sound of explosions. According to statistics, more than 30 people have been killed and 130 injured in explosions in the capital over the past month. This figure is the result of more than 10 explosions and two rocket attacks in the capital. Meanwhile, the police have been able to defuse about 15 landmines in the past month. During that period, eight people were arrested for involvement in terrorist attacks and two were killed. In the past month, an average of one person has been killed and four others injured in explosions every day. The attacks have been blamed on the Taliban, Haqqani and ISIS groups. The Interior Ministry said that the reason for the increase in explosions is changes in the Taliban’s method of warfare. The first vice president also stated that the Taliban are now organizing small-scale attacks in Kabul. For their part, the Taliban have so far denied involvement in what have been some of the capital’s bloodiest attacks.

The city of Kabul witnessed continuous explosions in the last month, despite increased security efforts. Statistics released by security agencies show that at least 33 people were killed in landmines and rocket attacks last month. In addition, 130 civilians were injured during this period. These statistics have been recorded from November 21 to December 21. During the solar month of Aqrab (late October to mid-November), 35 people were killed and several others injured. Statistics from the Ministry of Public Health also show that more than 60 people were killed and more than 170 injured in Kabul in the last two months.

Alongside the explosions, the police were able to detect and defuse some of the improvised explosive devices. According to Kabul police, 16 mines, including small barrel mines, were defused last month. In the meantime, there was a suicide attack in Paghman district, but only one person was killed after failing to reach the target. Eight people were arrested and two others killed in a police raid in the past month.

The Taliban have set up small groups to carry out attacks in the capital

The Interior Ministry blames the Taliban for the ongoing bombings in the capital, while noting a change in the way they attack. Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian told 8 Subh on Tuesday, December 22, that members of the Taliban were divided into small groups in the capital and were operating sporadically. He said that in the past, the arrest of some members of the group paved the way for the arrest of other accomplices, but now, that had changed. However, Mr. Arian said security forces had also changed and strengthened their approach to detecting the networks.

According to Arian, although intelligence agencies are now monitoring suspicious areas and continuing to detain members of terrorist groups, the Taliban had also stepped up their efforts to destabilize Kabul. Tariq Arian cited the defeat of the Taliban in the Helmand and Kandahar wars as the reason for these increased efforts. He added that in addition to the Taliban and the Haqqani network, which operates as a sub-branch, ISIS had also been active, even using 12-year-old children for intelligence work in Kabul. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, in recent months, police had been able to find some vehicles full of explosives and a joint shelter of ISIS and Haqqani groups in Kabul’s Shakardara district. However, Arian states that terrorist networks in Kabul have not yet been curbed and that people continue to be recruited sporadically.

The First Vice President also said that the attacks have continued, owing their origin to war in the wider context. After the 6:30 a.m. meeting on Tuesday, December 22, Amrullah Saleh, the first vice president, said that the Taliban’s current tactic was to build small three- and five-person groups. He added that when one group disappeared, the group would activate second and third groups. According to Mr. Saleh, the Taliban had trained 500 fighters for bombings and sent them to large cities in small groups after reaching an agreement with the United States. He cited the Taliban’s interpretation of the Doha agreement as the reason for this, because, according to the first vice president, the Taliban wanted to “kill more and get more concessions”. But he said that many Taliban fighters had been killed or detained so far.

It is worth mentioning that despite the implementation of the Security Pact plan, holding a 6:30 am meeting and changing the command of Kabul police, people continue to complain about insecurity in Kabul city, evidenced by the increased number of IED explosions. Kabul, meanwhile, witnessed rocket attacks twice after the 6:30 a.m. meetings began, killing more than 10 people and wounding more than 50 others.