Kabul [Afghanistan], September 10 (ANI): A blast that targetted the convoy of First Vice President Amrullah Saleh in the Taimani area of Kabul on Wednesday killed 10 people and left 16 persons wounded.
As per Tolo News, Saleh survived the blast and sustained minor injuries. The attack comes as the intra-Afghan attacks are set to begin within a week's time. As per analysts, the attack was in response to the interview by Saleh on Sunday "which was critical of the Taliban".
Tariq Arian, Interior Ministry spokesman, said that 10 persons have been killed while 16 persons have been wounded in the blast targetting the first vice president's convoy. However other security sources say that the number of deaths is at least 20 and the wounded persons are at least 50.
The Presidential Palace issued a statement condemning the attack and saying that "such attacks will not weaken the strong will of the people for peace and that the security and defense forces will continue to fight terrorism."
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation visited the first vice president after the incident and condemned the attack further calling for an investigation.
"The attack on the first VP took place on the eve of peace talks when our message--and the people's message--is peace. The hidden enemies do not want peace and stability for Afghanistan," Tolo News reported quoting Abdullah.
Haneef Atmar, the acting foreign minister also condemned the attack and said that the determination to achieve peace is "unbreakable". He tweeted: "I condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack on Saleh, the first vice president. The enemies cannot hinder the peace process with such attacks. Our determination to achieve peace is unbreakable."
Tolo News further stated that the international community also condemned the act and expressed solidarity towards the Afghanistan government. "We are glad that he remains unharmed. This is an attack on the Republic, and a desperate act by spoilers of peace efforts, who must be collectively confronted. Condolences to the affected families," said the EU in Afghanistan tweet.
US Charge d'Affaires Ross Wilson on Twitter said, "I am shocked & dismayed by today's attack on First Vice President Amrullah Saleh's life. The United States strongly supports Afghanistan's democratic institutions and leaders, including, Vice President Saleh."
"We strongly support efforts that we hope begin soon in Doha toward lasting peace and an end to this kind of violence. My deepest condolences to those who needlessly lost their lives & those who were injured," he said in a subsequent tweet.
Tolo News further reported that no group has claimed responsibility for the attack and moreover, the Taliban also denied any claims to the incident. This is the second time Saleh has survived such an attack. (ANI)