14 Nepalis killed in Kabul suicide attack

KATHMANDU/KABUL: A Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 Nepali security guards in an attack Monday on their minibus in the Afghan capital, Kabul, the Interior Ministry and an Afghan security official said.

The Nepalis were on their way to the Canadian Embassy where they work as guards, according to another Nepali guard who was wounded in the attack.

The attack was the latest by the Taliban, who have stepped up assaults, including in the Afghan capital, as part of their summer offensive. The insurgent attacks frequently target government employees and Afghan security forces across the country.

The bomber was on foot when he struck the minibus, said Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi, the Kabul police chief. The minibus belonged to the employees of an unnamed foreign security company, he said.

An Interior Ministry statement confirmed that all 14 killed were Nepali citizens, describing the attack as the work of a "terrorist suicide bomber." It said the explosion also wounded nine people, five Nepali employees and four Afghan civilians.

Amrit Rokaya Chhetri, a Nepali who was wounded in the attack, told The Associated Press they were on their way to the Canadian Embassy when the blast took place.

"Many people died," Chhetri said from his hospital bed, his head covered with a white bandage. "I say to my family, I am ok and I will come home."

Abdullah Abdullah, the country's chief executive officer, condemned the attack in a posting on Twitter, saying: "This attack is an act of terror and intimidation."

I condemn the terrorist attack on those traveling to their work places in Kabul this morning.This attack is an act of terror & intimidation.

— Dr. Abdullah (@afgexecutive) June 20, 2016

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to media.


Nepal confirms casualties

Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that 14 Nepalis were killed and five others were injured in the incident. 

"Our Islamabad-based embassy has informed us that the victims were Nepalis," MoFA spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudyal told THT Online. 

Condemn the killing of 14 Nepalese nationals and injuring 5 in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul. MoFA seeking details of the dead and injured.

— MOFA of Nepal (@MofaNepal) June 20, 2016

There is no embassy of Nepal in Afghanistan and the Islamabad-based mission is responsible in Afghan affairs as well.

The injured are undergoing treatment at a local health facility.

Earlier, the Ministry had said it was yet to confirm if Nepalis were killed in the fatal attack.

READ ALSONepal leaders condemn Kabul suicide attack that killed 14 Nepalis


Nepal "yet to confirm"

Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, said it was yet to confirm if Nepalis were killed in the accident.

"We are trying to verify the reports via our embassy," MoFA spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudyal told THT Online, "We will share the facts as soon as it is confirmed."

Shocked by the news of suicide attack in a convoy in Kabul. Verifying the news about the reported casualties of Nepalese nationals, if any.

— MOFA of Nepal (@MofaNepal) June 20, 2016