As an enormous truck bomb blast rips through Kabul’s diplomatic district, it reminds the world that Afghanistan is still here, fighting its own wars.
The powerful explosion, which killed at least 90 and wounded more than 300, is described by officials to have been one of the largest to have hit the Afghan capital. A tanker truck exploded on Wednesday near Zanbaq square, in Kabul’s 10th district, close to not only the administrative offices and the foreign embassies, but also to a school, small shops and TV studios.
Among the casualties were a BBC driver, and an Afghan security guard for the German Embassy. While the German Foreign minister and the French officials reported of injured employees and building damages respectively, the Indian Minister of External Affairs assured about the safety of staff at the Indian Embassy.
The incident raised many questions on the security, with many wondering how a truck full of explosives could get into such a secure part of the Afghan capital. However, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility yet, with Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denying the group’s involvement in the attack.
For years, Kabul had been a place of relative security in a country crumbling due to violence, but the disastrous bombing this Wednesday has changed the entire perception. The rising amount of attacks in Kabul pose a threat to the government, the fragile economy, to the foreign support that keeps Afghanistan running, and to education, media and civil society, that all cluster in the capital. The most traumatic part perhaps is the large-scale damage to civilians, because the military and the administrative targets are heavily protected. In the words of Kate Clark, of the Afghanistan Analysts Network,
Afghanistan is a place that needs a bit of stability to get itself together, and crises like this really undermine the government and people’s confidence that the government can protect them.
Three years after Barack Obama declared that the war in Afghanistan was over, havoc in the heart of Kabul says something else.The last time foreign powers turned their backs on Afghanistan in 1989, the bloodshed and violence that continued bred the Taliban. In a world that has seen the rise of ISIS, where the free world of internet possibly plays most important role, it would be rash to experiment with Afghanistan again.
Aside from spectacular incidents where foreigners are involved, it has been noticed that the Afghan war has largely dropped off media and diplomatic agendas since direct foreign combat involvement ended, even though the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a report on protection of civilians , that the Kabul province had the most civilian casualties, due to the large number of attacks.
This deadly and devastating attack on the fundamentals of humanity serves as a prompt to the world to take action, once again, before it’s too late.