12 killed as suicide car bomb rams into minibus in Kabul
A SUICIDE bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a minibus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in the Afghan capital yesterday, killing at least 12 people including eight South Africans.
A militant group claimed the attack aimed to avenge a US-made anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.
The early-morning blast was the first to target Kabul since a video clip of the film was posted on the internet last week, sparking protests across the Muslim world. It was also the second – and deadliest – attack in Afghanistan that militants have said they carried out as revenge strikes in response to the film.
Haroon Zarghoon, a spokesman for the Islamist militant group Hizb-i-Islami, claimed responsibility. He said the attack was carried out by a 22-year-old woman named Fatima. Suicide bombings carried out by women are extremely rare in Afghanistan.
“The anti-Islam film hurt our religious sentiments and we cannot tolerate it,” Zarghoon said.
The bombing is an escalation of violence in the capital, where most attacks are blamed on the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based militant group affiliated with the Taleban and al-Qaeda.
Eight of the dead were South Africans believed to be working for an aviation company based at Rand Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa’s international affairs ministry said.
Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said four Afghans were also killed and another 11 civilians wounded.
Yesterday’s blast came a day after hundreds of Afghans burned cars and threw stones at a US military base in the capital in a demonstration against the film. One police vehicle was burned by the mob, before they finally dispersed around midday.
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