Another blast, another day in Kabul, Afghanistan. This has become the new normal for the people of Kabul. The blast occurred near the Green Village compound on Monday, January 14, killing at least four people and wounding more than 100, the country’s health ministry has said. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Green Village, a compound that houses a number of international companies, is often described as paradise. Inside Green Village you can find bars, swimming pools, good gyms, good food, coffee shops, and five-star accommodations, which is pretty hard to come by in the war-ravaged country.
Three military personnel were among the dead, Afghan Interior Ministry Spokesman Najib Danish said. He did not specify the victims’ nationalities. There is large international peacekeeping force in Kabul tasked primarily with force protection. The British Army currently provides troops to secure the capital as part of their new role in Afghanistan.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, said the group’s fighters were responsible for the attack. He claimed dozens of foreign and Afghan security forces were killed and wounded. The Taliban have been known to inflate casualty figures following their attacks against Afghan government or foreign targets.
This Taliban attack was similar to many that occur in this part of the world: A suicide bomber driving a car will smash into the outer perimeter of a compound and detonate. That initial attack is followed by another conducted by a small group of armed militants who endeavor to overpower security forces and conduct killings throughout the compound, or even kidnap Westerners or high-ranking officials if the opportunity arises.
Monday’s attack took place as U.S. Peace Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad tours the region for meetings aimed at bringing an end to the country’s 18-year-long war. Last week, Taliban leaders called off a fourth round of talks with U.S. officials in Qatar due to disagreements over the agenda of the meeting.
The Taliban have rejected several requests from Afghan officials and the international community to conduct peace talks. During times like this they will often stage more attacks on the Afghan government or international troops. This is done to project power to the international community and the Afghan government, making it appear they are in control. “We can attack whenever we want!” This scaremongering tactic is meant to convince locals and international communities that the Taliban still have a powerful grip on the country.
A U.S.-led invasion in 2001 toppled the Taliban, Afghanistan’s largest armed group, from power. The group has escalated its attacks on security forces and government facilities in recent months. The last major attack on the capital took place in late December when 43 people were killed inside a government compound targeted by a suicide bomber and other attackers armed with assault rifles. No group has claimed responsibility for that incident.