Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Afghan vehicle bomb hits New Kabul Bank in Helmand

Afghan vehicle bomb hits New Kabul Bank in Helmand

The capital, Lashkar Gah, has repeatedly come under attack from Taliban forces.

However, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security later said that the attack had been staged by the Haqqani Network insurgent group in coordination with Pakistan's intelligence service.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Taliban and Isis have in the past targeted banks where police, soldiers and other government employees collect wages.

Helmand province has become a stronghold for the Taliban since USA forces began withdrawing from the province in 2013.

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Calling for "complete independence of the country and establishment of an Islamic system", he warned against plans under consideration to increase the number of USA troops in Afghanistan by up to 3,000-5,000.

Afghans carry the bodies of men at after a suicide vehicle bombing in Helmand province southern of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, June 22, 2017.

Meanwhile, the trauma center in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah said it received 23 bodies and admitted 43 injured patients. This was followed by another deadly incident in May when armed individuals killed a German woman and her Afghan guard, and kidnapped a Finnish woman from an worldwide guesthouse in Kabul run by a Swedish-based charity, Operation Mercy.

Reports say people could have gathered in large numbers outside the bank inorder to collect their salaries as well as withdraw money ahead of the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

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The head of the hospital in Lashkar Gah, Mawladad Tabedar, told BBC Afghan the number of casualties might rise.

Today's attack comes a day after a militant attack inside a mosque killed two members of the local council.

The Taliban control or contest 10 of the 14 districts in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

After urging Afghans to embrace holy war, or jihad, to oust foreign troops, Akhunzadah's rambling message went on to touch upon the conflict between Gulf Arab states and Qatar, saying he was "saddened" by the feud.

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On Wednesday, in its latest report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan termed the security situation in the country as "intensely volatile". No group claimed the attack but Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the insurgents were behind the shooting.

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