Kandahar Police HQ Bombing

Just missed being caught up in a double suicide-bombing in Kandahar City. Bombers targeted the main police headquarters in an attack just three minutes after I exited the building. Detonations were at approx 13:21 and 13:23.

The police commander was allegedly injured in the attack, but there are mainly only rumours at this point. The bomber was seemingly going for a ‘spectacular’, and Raziq – a strongman of several districts close to the Pakistani border and government supporter – was also the target of the attack.
One of the bombers managed to get all the way inside the police headquarters – the third time this has happened since I’ve been coming to Afghanistan – which is a little worrying. If the police can’t protect themselves…

Replaying the minutes as I was leaving the HQ this morning – mundane errand to get my visa renewed – I think I saw the suicide bombers going inside. One was wearing a green turban, and the other was dressed more non-descriptly. They were being escorted by a young police officer.
Witnesses saw pick-up trucks leaving the HQ filled with injured and bodies, although again I can’t be sure on this until I’ve visited the hospital. More to follow when I get back.

UPDATE: Ahmed Wali Karzai made a statement to AFP that: “so far, according to my information, eight people have been martyred and 23 others have been wounded,” he said. This fits with reports of the trucks of bodies, but as I said, I have to go and confirm this in person in a bit.

By Alex Strick van Linschoten

Alex Strick van Linschoten is travelling in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and the north Caucasus over the next 4 years for a book on sufism. He lives in Kandahar, but moves around a lot.

2 comments

  1. Keep Safe alex. They were being escorted by an officer and they still managed to blow up the building :O

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