KABUL: Fifteen more fatalities were confirmed Saturday from a barrage of bombings in Kabul, taking the toll to 51 in the deadliest day in the Afghan capital since the NATO combat mission ended in December.
The explosions on Friday, which devastated buildings and overwhelmed hospitals with hundreds of casualties, were the first major militant assaults on Kabul since the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death.
The attacks underscored the volatile security situation in Afghanistan amid a faltering peace process and the potency of the Taliban insurgency despite being riven by growing internal divisions.
In the first attack, a powerful truck bomb tore through the centre of Kabul just after midnight on Friday, killing 15 civilians and wounding 240 others.
Less than 24 hours later, 27 cadets and civilians were killed when a suicide bomber dressed in police uniform blew himself up at the entrance of Kabul Police Academy.
Explosions and gunfire also erupted when Camp Integrity, a US special forces base in Kabul, came under attack late Friday, killing nine people, including a NATO service member.
The Taliban distanced themselves from the truck bombing which struck near a Kabul military base — as they usually do in attacks that result in mass civilian casualties.
But they claimed responsibility for both other attacks, which marked a serious breach of security at a premier training institute for Afghan forces and a foreign coalition facility.
The carnage highlighted the risk of a bloodier insurgency under a new Taliban leadership as Afghan forces face their first summer fighting season without full NATO support.