Suicide attack kills 35, Taliban claim responsibility

09:37, March 15, 2011      

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Afghan policemen and security personnels inspect the site after a suicide attack at an army recruitment centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, March 14, 2011. The attack killed at least 35 people and injured 33 others. (Xinhua/Rahmat)

by Abdul Haleem

A suicide bomber targeted the Afghan army recruitment center in Kunduz province 250 km north of capital Kabul on Monday killed 35 people and wounded 33 others, spokesman for provincial administration Mahboubullah Sayedi said.

"In the coward terrorist attack against the national army recruitment center in provincial capital Kunduz city today 35 people including civilians and military personnel were killed and 33 others sustained injuries," Sayedi told Xinhua.

Giving details he added that a suicide bomber blew himself up in a ground next to the recruitment center leaving 35 people dead including several young men who wanted to join the army and receive training at the army recruitment center to serve the nation.

Among the victims there are three serving army personnel and some athletes who were playing volleyball in the ground next to the recruitment center and several civilians to watch volleyball match when the suicide bomber exploded, the official further said.

This is the second suicide attack having rocked Kunduz since Thursday. In the previous attack five people including provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili were killed and eight others sustained injuries.

Taliban militants who had claimed the responsibility for previous deadly bombing and killing the Kunduz police chief also accepted responsibility for Monday's bloody bombing.

Zabihullah Mujahid, claiming to speak for Taliban outfit in talks with media via telephone from undisclosed location, said that a fighter blew himself up killing 31 Afghan soldiers.

President Hamid Karzai has described the bloody attack as a coward terrorist act and strongly condemned it, a statement released by his office here said.

"The Monday's vile attack is a serious crime and an unforgivable act of terror against those who wanted to join in army ranks to protect their nation and territorial integrity. The enemy does not want to see an Afghan Force develop and grow capable of protecting its nation," Afghan president said in the statement.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also denounced the deadly attack in Kunduz city on Monday.

"There is no denying the disregard insurgents have for the sanctity of innocent life. The killing of civilians is a brutal tactic that further turns the Afghan population against the insurgency, and only strengthens the resolve of international forces," said Rear Admiral Vic Beck, ISAF director of Public Affairs in a statement released here.

"We join President Karzai in condemning this atrocity. We will continue to work with our Afghan counterparts to disrupt the networks behind this attack, and bring those responsible to justice," ISAF statement emphasized.

Source: Xinhua

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