Aid workers killed in Kabul blast

Aid workers killed in Kabul blast
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Taliban suicide attackers in Afghanistan killed the South African leader of a foreign aid group, his son and daughter and an worker in an assault on the agency’s Kabul offices.

The city’s police chief resigned in the wake of the latest insurgent attack.

Police chief General Mohammed Zahir told reporters before his resignation that the attack yesterday actually killed four people, raising the death toll in the assault near the Afghan parliament.

He offered no other details about the victims and did not name the aid group.

A Redlands, California-based group called Partnership in Academics and Development later posted a notice on its website saying several of its staffers died during an attack in Kabul yesterday.

“We are caring for all staff and their families as they grieve the loss of their friends and co-workers and nurse the wounded,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts are with the survivors and their families as they grieve the loss of life. Their selfless sacrifice for the people of Afghanistan is an inspiration to all.”

A message left at a phone number listed for the group was not immediately returned today.

Clayson Monyela, a spokesman for South Africa’s foreign affairs department, said today that he had no information about the victims.

Yesterday’s attack saw three Taliban militants launch an assault on the office, with one exploding a suicide bomb vest and the two others later killed in a shootout with police, authorities said.

At least one of the attackers wore a police uniform, Zahir said.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai later said Mr Zahir had resigned his post, without providing further details.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was scheduled to give a televised speech later today.

Kabul has seen eight deadly suicide attacks against high-profile targets in the past 16 days, one of the most violent periods in the capital in years.

In recent days, four foreigners – including an employee of the British embassy - have been killed and dozens of Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded.

The attacks have raised concerns about whether Afghan security forces can protect the country after the US and Nato officially conclude their 13-year combat mission on December 31.

They also show a reinvigorated Taliban insurgency taking advantage of the situation as well.

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