A suicide car bomb explosion in central Afghanistan on Monday killed dozens of security personnel, with officials estimating that at least 100 could have died in the attack, Reuters reported.
“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training centre, eight special commandoes are among the dead,” said an unidentified senior official in the defence ministry in Kabul.
While provincial public health officials confirmed that the attack left at least 24 killed or wounded, an unidentified provincial council member said the number is more than 50, TOLO News reported. There is no official confirmation of the number of casualties yet.
The blast took place in Maidan Wardak province, west of capital Kabul, after attackers drove a military vehicle packed with explosives into a training centre of the National Directorate for Security at around 7 am local time (8 am Indian time). Two gunmen also entered the centre and opened fire before they were killed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility, with its spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid saying the attack had killed 190 people. The incident took place on the same day that Taliban representatives met Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, in Qatar.
Sharif Hotak, a member of the provincial council in Maidan Wardak, said he saw the bodies of 35 members of the Afghan forces in hospital. “Many more were killed,” he said, claiming that the government was hiding the exact figures to prevent a dip in morale of the Afghan forces. “Several bodies were transported to Kabul city and many injured were transferred to hospitals in Kabul.”
In a statement, President Ashraf Ghani’s office said the “enemies of the country” had carried out the attack and had killed and wounded “a number of our beloved and honest sons”.