Kabul suicide attack death toll jumped to 20


Afghan police say the death toll from the previous night’s suicide attack in Kabul has jumped to 20, with another 27 policemen wounded.

The attack took place in the eastern part of the Afghan capital where dozens of security officers had congregated to protect a demonstration of shopkeepers that had been held earlier in the day following the death of a shopkeeper during a police operation targeting alcohol and bootleggers, an unnamed official had said.

A suicide attacker blew himself up near the crowd of police and protesters, killing at least 11 people and wounding 25 others, officials said, in the latest deadly violence to bring carnage to the Afghan capital.

Initial reports immediately after the blast put the death toll at six officers but police official Jan Agha said that by Friday morning, the number of those killed had significantly increased.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing but both Taliban insurgents and the militant Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan have targeted the country’s security forces in the past.

The Afghan capital has become one of the deadliest places in war-torn Afghanistan for civilians in recent months.

The latest assault comes a week after more than 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide blast claimed by IS targeting the Shia community in Kabul.

Last week’s assault took place days after a suicide bomber killed six civilians in a Christmas Day attack near an Afghan intelligence agency compound in the city, which was also claimed by the IS.

On December 18 militants from the group stormed an intelligence training compound in Kabul, triggering an intense gunfight with police, two of whom were wounded.

Security in Kabul has been ramped up since May 31 when a massive truck bomb ripped through the diplomatic quarter, killing some 150 people and wounding around 400 others — mostly civilians. No group has yet claimed that attack.

Despite the increased security measures militants continue to carry out attacks.

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