Afghan President Says Last Week's Bombing Killed Over 150

The death toll in one of Afghanistan's worst terrorist attacks has jumped from 90 to at least 150, President Ashraf Ghani said, one week after the enormous blast shook Kabul.

On the same day, a rocket struck the Indian diplomatic compound in Kabul. Taliban took responsibility for the rocket attack, but claimed to have hit North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters in the capital.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday announced that the death toll from a truck-bomb explosion in Kabul last week has reached more than 150.

With security deteriorating under a resurgent Taliban and as Islamic State steps up attacks, there has been talk of Afghanistan's government collapsing and the country becoming a training ground for groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, said Manoj Joshi, a distinguished fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation. "If the Taliban wants to join peace talks, the Afghan government will allow them to open an office, but this is their last chance".

And on Saturday, at a funeral of one of the protesters killed, three seperate explosions left 12 reported dead, making it the third attack in four days in the capital.

A Taliban spokesman rejected Ghani's latest offer of a peace dialogue and denounced Tuesday's Kabul gathering as another attempt to "endorse and prolong foreign occupation" of Afghanistan.

Ghani pointed out to delegates attending the meeting that 75,000 Afghans were killed or wounded in 2015 and 2016.

Officials had previously put the death toll at 90, already making it the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since the ouster of the Taliban following the US -led invasion in 2001.

The funeral of Ezadyar, the son of an influential Afghan senator, was attended by senior government figures including Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, but they escaped unharmed.

"It is really hard to be optimistic for peace with the Taliban and other armed oppositions when Kabul has witnessed such a tragedy", said Sayed Hamed Daqiq, a former government official who is now a political analyst. Pakistan has also been telling the Afghan side to check misuse of its soil against Pakistan but so far no tangible action has been taken.

He also said that in the past two years, 11,000 foreign fighters have come in to Afghanistan to fight for Daesh.

Reports say attendees had gathered to mourn and pay their last respect for the victim of the deadly violence when the bomb went off.

US military commanders have proposed sending 3,000 to 5,000 more advisers to Afghanistan in a bid to break the "stalemate".

  • Leroy Wright