The violence once again overshadowed preparations for the official start of the long-awaited dialogue between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
When all eyes were on Doha, where the two delegations are already located, a bomb exploded as Vice President Amrula Saleh’s convoy went by on his way to his office in Kabul and at least ten people lost their lives and another fifteen were injured.
“This morning as we were heading to my office, our convoy was attacked. I’m fine, I have burns on my face and hand “, said Saleh himself in a video that he shared on Facebook in which he could be seen with a bandaged hand.
“The explosion has nothing to do with us,” the Taliban spokesman, Zabihulá Mujahid, reacted immediately.
It is the second time that Saleh, a former head of the intelligence services and one of the most critical voices of the Taliban, has survived an attack.
This time the attack took place in the Taimani area and once again showed the vulnerability of a capital that, on paper, is the most protected area in the country.
“Unfortunately ten civilians, most of them people who worked in this area, were killed and 15 others, including the bodyguards of the first vice president, were injured,” said Tareq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
A year ago, on the eve of the presidential elections, his party’s office was the target of a jihadist operation in which at least 20 people lost their lives.
The samples of condemnation followed one another throughout the day. From the capital of Qatar, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, head of the Kabul negotiating team, said via Twitter that “the time for excuses has passed.
The murder of the people must stop . The European Union delegation in Afghanistan denounced “a desperate act by those who want to waste peace efforts, which must be confronted collectively.” From NATO, its ambassador in Afghanistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, lamented that “the enemies of peace continue to ignore the will of the Afghan people to put an end to violence.”
The attack took place 72 hours after Saleh declared in an interview with the Tolo channel that “the first test for the Taliban is a ceasefire.
If they accept it, they are committed to peace , otherwise they are not. Since the United States and insurgents signed their peace agreement on February 29, insurgent attacks against international troops have ceased, but the same has not happened with the Afghan security forces they continue to fight every day.
In the midst of the fighting, a prisoner exchange has taken place over the past seven months and the Taliban await the release of the last 100 prisoners from the list of 5,000 they presented to the Kabul authorities.
Mohammad Naeem Wardak, insurgent spokesman in Doha, announced that the talks with the government will only take place when the release of the last hundred prisoners is concluded, “as stated in our agreement with the Americans.”