Dozens of Afghan supreme court staff killed in suicide blast

The shoe of one of the victims of the suicide car bomb attack in Kabul yesterday. Photograph: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

The shoe of one of the victims of the suicide car bomb attack in Kabul yesterday. Photograph: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

Wed, Jun 12, 2013, 01:17

A suicide bomber killed and injured dozens of Afghan supreme court employees when he struck commuter minibuses filling up for the afternoon drive home yesterday, in one of the deadliest Taliban operations this year.

It was the second big assault on the capital in as many days, after seven attackers holed up on a construction site to fire rockets on Kabul airport. That group fought for hours but killed no one apart from themselves.

Yesterday’s attack was the work of one man in an explosives-packed Toyota Corolla, and caused terrible carnage in a leafy residential area that was on the civil war frontlines but had been largely peaceful since.

“Seventeen civilians have been killed and 39 wounded,” said Mohammad Zahir, head of the city’s criminal investigation department. “There were two women and two children among the dead.”

The explosion near the back gates of the court building was so powerful that one bus was blown from the tarmac into a nearby yard, and debris was hurled over a six-storey apartment block to land in a street 50m away.

“I could hear people screaming for help, they couldn’t even move. There were bodies and blood all around,” said Ehsan Jalalzai, a resident who rushed out to assist. “It is disgusting to live here.” A Taliban spokesman said the bombing, carried out by a Kabul engineer named Abdul Wahid, was a revenge attack aimed at judges.– (Guardian service)