Eight more fatalities were confirmed Saturday from a barrage of bombings in Kabul, taking the toll to 44 in the deadliest day in the Afghan capital since December.
The explosions on Friday, which devastated buildings and overwhelmed hospitals with hundreds of casualties, were the first major militant assaults on Kabul since the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death.
In the first attack, a powerful truck bomb tore through the centre of Kabul just after midnight on Friday, killing 15 civilians and wounding 240 others.
The Taliban distanced themselves from the bombing which struck near a Kabul military base — as they usually do in attacks that result in a large number of civilian casualties.
Less than 24 hours later, at least 20 people were killed when a suicide attacker dressed in police uniform blew himself up at the entrance of Kabul Police Academy.
The Taliban were quick to claim responsibility for that attack, which marked a serious breach of security at a premier training institute for Afghan security forces.
Explosions and gunfire also erupted when Camp Integrity, a US special forces base in Kabul, came under attack late Friday, killing nine people.
“One Resolute Support (NATO) service member and eight Resolute Support contracted civilians were killed,” a NATO statement said without revealing their nationalities.
Military jets were heard flying over the centre of Kabul shortly after the Camp Integrity explosions.
The carnage underscored the volatile security situation in Afghanistan amid a faltering peace process with the Taliban as Afghan forces face their first summer fighting season without full NATO support.
Friday’s bombings were the first major attacks after Mullah Akhtar Mansour was last week named as the new Taliban chief in an acrimonious power transition after the insurgents confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Omar.