The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the Taliban’s Tuesday suicide attacks in Parwan province and Kabul, saying: “Taliban must begin to demonstrate a genuine commitment to peace rather than continue the violence and destruction.”
“Just today, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack carried out by a suicide bomber in Kabul that killed more than 20 Afghans,” Pompeo said in the statement, adding that they also claimed responsibility for the blast at President Ashraf Ghani’s campaign rally. This explosion in Charikar killed more than two dozen people waiting to hear President Ghani speak.
Pompeo said that Afghanistan has endured blackouts and other challenges as a result of Taliban attacks, referring to the downed power lines that carry electricity from Uzbekistan to hospitals, schools, and homes in many areas of the country.
“Through these attacks, the Taliban demonstrate blatant disregard for the people and institutions of Afghanistan,” Pompeo said, insisting that for “Afghans to truly reconcile” they must not “continue the violence and destruction that causes such inordinate harm to the Afghan people and the future of their country.”
On Tuesday morning, 26 people were killed and 42 wounded by a suicide bomber at President Ghani’s campaign rally in the central province of Parwan. The attack took place at 11:40 a.m. in the city of Charikar after a suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated his explosives where dozens of people were entering the meeting place, local officials said.
The second attack of the day was in the city of Kabul, and at least 22 civilians were killed and 38 others were wounded after a suicide bomber detonated his explosive close a Ministry of Defense building in PD9.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for both attacks.
These attacks follow the recent shutdown of peace talks by US President Donald after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul that killed 12, including an American soldier, on September 2.