Five civilians, including four women – one of them pregnant – and a child, were killed in an explosion in downtown Kabul that targeted a bus carrying low-ranking employees of two government ministries on Monday afternoon.
The blast happened a day after two similar blasts targeted two civilian buses in Kabul’s west on Sunday evening.
Monday’s blast targeted a bus that carried the employees of the ministries of education, information and culture, and the Afghan Post, which operates under the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology. Such buses are usually hired on a monthly basis by government employees.
Khatira Mayil, a pregnant mother, was killed with her three-year-old child in the explosion. She was expecting her second child to be born soon.
Victims’ families called the attack "cruel and cowardly" and blamed security agencies for their lack of ability to prevent such attacks.
At least 13 others, all civilians, were wounded in the explosion, according to officials.
Shukriya and Nargis Kohistani, two employees of Afghan Post; Aziza Malik Zada, an employee of the Ministry of Information and Culture; Khatira Mayil, an employee of the Ministry of Education, and her child, Arsh Mayil, were the five victims of the attack.
“We are concerned about our security. The cities have become very dangerous. This is not acceptable for the people,” said Rohullah, a Kabul resident.
“The enemies of this country want to target innocent people,” said Zamir, a Kabul resident.
Khatira Mayil was 27 years old. The victims were laid to rest in Kabul on Tuesday.
“I wish those who did this would be destroyed,” said Roeena, mother of Khatira.
“The plight of these people should be addressed,” said Behshta, Khatira’s mother.
Aziza Malikzada, 51, was another victim of the attack. She worked at the Ministry of Information and Culture for the past 25 years. Her relatives said she was living with her two sisters.
“She was targeted in a cowardly way. She was a girl who worked and supported her family. They were three sisters,” said Nooria Zewari, Malikzada’s colleague.
Figures collected by TOLOnews show that 140 people have been killed and 202 others have been wounded in different security incidents in the last 15 days.
Of the 140 killed, 87 of them were security force members, 42 were civilians and 11 were government employees.
Of the wounded, 74 were security force members, 114 were civilians and 14 were government employees.
Data collected by TOLOnews shows that 270 civilians and security force members were killed and 173 more were wounded in various security incidents across the country in February.
The findings show that 166 security incidents, including magnetic IED blasts, roadside bomb blasts, targeted attacks and Taliban offensives, occurred in Afghanistan in February.
The data shows that the February casualties are slightly less than what was reported by TOLOnews in January.
This comes as the fate of the peace process is uncertain and concerns over the coming spring "fighting season" are elevated.
TOLOnews' data was confirmed by independent sources to prepare this report.