A suicide blast claimed by the Taliban killed at least five people and several others injured in north Kabul on Tuesday in an attack that appeared to target Afghan soldiers collecting their salaries from a nearby bank.
It came four days after an attack on a Shiite mosque in west Kabul killed at least 28 worshippers. That attack was claimed by ISIL.
Tuesday’s bomb went off outside a building housing several banks, including the privately-owned Kabul Bank which is used by the Afghan army to pay soldiers’ salaries. The building is located less than 200 metres away from the US embassy.
“I live close to the site of explosion, and was at home when I heard several gunshots followed with the loud boom around 10am,” local resident Sadia Tajali told The National.
“They were so loud and close that for a moment I thought the attack was taking place in my living room.”
With the blast striking at the end of the month and two days ahead of Eid Al Adha, the building housing the banks was also crowded with civilians withdrawing their salaries.
It is not the first time the Taliban has targeted banks on payday or ahead of religious festivals.
Ahead of this year’s Eid Al Fitr in June, the movement hit the Kabul Bank branch in Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, with a car bomb. At least 29 people died in that attack, most of them Afghan security forces, and 50 injured.
The same bank branch was targeted by militants in December 2014 while it was crowded with servicemen collecting their salaries. At least 10 people were killed.
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