Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak announced on Sunday afternoon at a joint security press conference that the death tollfollowing Saturday’s deadly bombing in Kabul was now at 103 and 235 were wounded.
He said many police officers were among the dead but did not give details. But he did say that among the wounded were 30 police officers.
“Many policemen were also killed,” he said.
The explosion happened just before 1pm on Saturday when an explosive-laden ambulance was detonated in a busy area, which is close to Kabul’s old building of the Ministry of Interior.
“There had been two ambulances involved. The first vehicle was stopped by police but both vehicles managed to get throughthe checkpoint. The one ambulance was only an escort and then left. The second ambulance was detonated,” Barmak said at a joint press conference with Defence Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) chiefMasoom Stanekzai.
Barmak said that the security institutions are doing everything possible to fight insurgency and stop such attacks.
“All security forces are working together to fight insurgency and they all hold themselves responsible for the (Intercontinental) hotel attack and Saturday's deadly bombing. He said all security institutions are “working hard to eliminate threats,” he said, adding that “there had been no negligence or recklessness on the part of security forces in yesterday's bombing.”
He said however that they could not disclose all information as it could jeopardize investigations.
Barmak said however that more reforms will be introduced into security plans for Kabul city in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Bahrami called for Afghans to stand united until the enemy has been defeated.
“There are more than 20 active insurgent groups in the country but security institutions are fighting hard to eliminate them,” he said.
Stanekzai also said that yesterday's attack was a tragedy and that condolences alone would not solve the problems of Afghanistan.
“The war in Afghanistan is not rooted in the country. People need to have a complete understanding of Afghanistan’s security landscape. Afghan government and people have realized that this is an imposed war, it is not an internal issue,” he said.
"We have arrested terrorists of all origins including Tajik and Uighurs. In one week 195 terrorists were detained," he said.
"Threats increased after the opening of Chabahar port in Iran," he added.
The NDS chief said Pakistan wants to take revenge on Afghans, and that the enemy is also trying to sabotage key projects such as TAPI; these projects are longstanding dreams of the Afghans, but to turn this into a reality, we have to makesacrifices, he said.
“Madrassas, training camps, and safe havens exist beyond Afghanistan's borders . He said 4,000 tons of explosives from Kunduz and Kapisa have been seized in the past month. Afghanistan does not have the capacity to produce explosives,” he said.
He states that Afghanistan faces a coordinated ideological war which is formulated outside the country; Pakistani clerics denounced violence in Pakistan, but announced it legitimate in Afghanistan. Suicide attackers are trained in Kochlak (a district in Baluchistan).
He also added that five people have been arrested for their involvement in the Intercontinental Hotel a week ago. He said one suspect has however fled the country. In addition four people have been arrested over Saturday’s attack.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for both the hotel attack and Saturday’s ambulance bombing.