Pompeo condemns ‘barbaric’ Kabul twin suicide blasts

Kabul: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday condemned the “barbaric and senseless” suicide attacks in Afghanistan’s Kabul, which claimed 29 lives.

In a statement, Pompeo said, “The United States strongly condemns today’s (April 30) senseless and barbaric attack in Kabul that killed 29 people and wounded dozens more, including several brave journalists and media professionals. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who were injured and killed, and we mourn all those who lost their lives.”

“The United States, along with our Afghan and international partners, is committed to defeating ISIS (Daesh) in Afghanistan, which has claimed responsibility for this attack. We stand with the people, the independent media, and government of Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the Afghan people’s efforts to achieve peace, security, and democracy for their country,” the statement read, citing TOLOnews.

Condemning the deaths of the journalists in the attack, Pompeo added that ‘independent media is a cornerstone of democracy.

“Despite today’s attack, the vibrant media landscape that has developed in Afghanistan will endure, in large part due to those journalists and media professionals who tragically died in today’s attack, but whose courageous and steadfast work helped lay the foundation for Afghanistan’s thriving and resilient independent media. The international community’s commitment to the Afghan people and a lasting peace in Afghanistan will not be shaken by such attacks,” the statement further read.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the twin suicide blasts in Kabul, saying that he was “outraged” by the series of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, causing heavy casualties to citizens, emergency responders and journalists.

The embassies of US and UK in Kabul also strongly condemned the “savage” suicide blasts in the Afghan capital.

Among the 29 people killed, nine of them were journalists in the twin suicide explosions. 50 others were also injured in the blasts.

The journalists were covering the incident of the first blast when the second explosion took place.

According to local media, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai confirmed the explosions, saying that the first bomber was on a motorbike and the second one was on foot.

The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hours after the twin blasts in Kabul, 11 students from a nearby religious school were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Kandahar. 16 others were also injured which included five Romanian soldiers.

According to TOLOnews, the attacks were aimed at Romanian troops who were patrolling the area.

No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. (ANI)