Taliban attack and kill 2 Indian, 14 Nepali guards in Kabul

Kabul: A busload of Nepali security guards and two Indian guards were among 25 people killed in a string of bombings across Afghanistan yesterday, days after Washington expanded the US military’s authority to strike the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed the first attack which killed two Indian guards and 14 Nepali security guards working for the Canadian Embassy in Kabul. The insurgents also claimed a second, smaller blast in south Kabul targeting a local politician that the interior ministry said killed one person and injured five others, including the politician.

The Kabul blasts were followed just hours later by an attack on a market in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan that authorities said killed at least eight people and wounded 18, with the death toll set to rise.

The wave of violence comes 10 days after Washington announced an expansion of the US military’s authority to conduct air strikes against the Taliban, a significant boost for Afghan forces who have limited air-support capacities. Police said the attack on the Nepali guards was carried out by a suicide bomber on foot on a main road leading out of the capital . “As a result 14 foreigners were killed, all Nepali nationals,” the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that nine other people were wounded, including five Nepali citizens and four Afghans.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on social media, saying it was “against the forces of aggression” in Afghanistan.

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