Afghanistan slams Pakistan over wave of bloody Kabul attacks

Kabul: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan today of sending “messages of war” and harbouring bomb-making camps, after a wave of devastating blasts in Kabul killed at least 56 people.

A Taliban suicide car bomber claimed lives of five people today near the entrance of Kabul’s international airport, the latest in a barrage of violence that has convulsed the Afghan capital since Friday.

The Taliban are stepping up their summer offensive amid a bitter leadership dispute following the announcement of the death of longtime supremo Mullah Omar.

Since coming to power last year Ghani has actively courted Pakistan, which has historically backed the Taliban, in what experts call a calculated gambit to pressure the militants to the negotiating table.

But in a volte-face today, Ghani slammed Pakistan for failing to rein in the Taliban as peace talks falter and insurgents step up attacks that are a test for beleaguered Afghan security forces.

“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani told a news conference.

“We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan…. We can no longer see our people bleeding in a war that is exported from outside.”

In today’s attack a suicide car bomber tore through a crowd during the lunchtime rush at a checkpoint where passengers undergo the first round of body checks before entering the airport.

Smoke billowed from the scene of the explosion, which killed at least five people, with officials warning that the toll could rise further.

An AFP photographer saw pieces of charred flesh littered around the checkpoint.

Ambulances with wailing sirens rushed to the site and were seen removing bodies from the area, which was strewn with the twisted and mangled wreckage of burning vehicles.

The Taliban said two vehicles belonging to foreign coalition forces were the target.

The NATO mission in Afghanistan has not yet commented on the bombing, which the Afghan interior ministry denounced as a “heinous act, against the values of humanity”.

It was the latest in a series of bombings in the city which began on Friday with three blasts — one close to an army complex, another at a police academy and one at a US special forces base — killing a total of 51 people.

They were the first major attacks since Mullah Akhtar Mansour was named as the new Taliban chief in an acrimonious power transition, after the insurgents confirmed Omar’s death.