x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Taliban lorry bomb kills nine at Nato compound

A Taliban lorry bomb and gun attack has killed nine people in the Afghan capital Kabul, destroying the entrance to a Nato supply company's compound in the latest insurgent assault to shake peace efforts.

Afghan security personnel investigate the site of a suicide car bombing, the gate to a Nato compound, in Kabul.
Afghan security personnel investigate the site of a suicide car bombing, the gate to a Nato compound, in Kabul.

KABUL // A Taliban lorry bomb and gun attack killed nine people in the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday, destroying the entrance to a Nato supply company's compound in the latest insurgent assault to shake peace efforts.

Four Nepalese security guards, one Briton and one Romanian were among those killed in the bombing outside the compound of the Dubai-based Supreme Group, which is near United Nations offices and a string of Nato bases.

The group provides many Nato bases with food, water, fuel and other supplies, as well as maintaining military storage buildings and accommodation.

"Four Nepalese guards, one Afghan guard and two Afghan civilians have been killed," Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said after the attack, which started at about 4.30am.

The British embassy said one male British national had also died, giving no further details, while the Romanian mission said a male civilian contractor was killed and another wounded.

Mr Salangi said the attack began with a suicide bomb in a large lorry, and two or three insurgents then fought guards for about 30-40 minutes. All the attackers were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which follows a series of recent Taliban suicide attacks targeting the supreme court, the airport, the presidency and a CIA office.

Amid the increasingly brazen attacks on the capital, pressure is growing on the Afghan government to secure a peace deal with the rebels before international troops pull out by the end of next year.

A Taliban office that opened in Qatar on June 18 to start peace talks enraged President Hamid Karzai by styling itself as an unofficial embassy for a government-in-exile.

Mr Karzai broke off bilateral security talks with the Americans about the future presence of US troops in the country after Nato forces withdraw next year, and threatened to boycott any peace process with the Taliban altogether.

The Taliban, who have been fighting a guerrilla war for 12 years, have consistently refused to hold any peace talks with the Afghan government.