Kabul citizens furious with government after bloody attack

Burned vehicles are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.
Burned vehicles are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Protests were being organised in Kabul on Thursday as Afghans vented their fury at the government's failure to prevent Wednesday's bomb attack, which killed at least 90 people and wounded hundreds more.


"People are shocked with what happened and disappointed," says Obaid Ali, the Head of Office at the Afghanistan Analysts Network. "They are angry, afraid and worried about the future."

The massive blast also drew widespread outrage from around the world. On Wednesday night the lights of Paris's Eiffel Tower were switched off in protest of the blast.

The attack highlights the ability of terrorists to strike even in the capital's most secure district, home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies. This led some to point the finger at the failures of the Afghan security forces.

"The fact that the Afghan security sorces are stretched and weak is true," says  Avinash Paliwal, a lecturer London's Soas. "But it's also clear that they were able to stop the truck, before it could enter the embassy complex. There's a perception that the bomb was suppose to be detonated closer to either the German or Indian embassy. The security landscape is very complex in Afghanistan. Predicting and stopping an attack is not entirely possible."

No claim of responsibility

The Afghan intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack.

The Taliban, currently in the midst of their annual spring offensive, denied they were involved and the Islamic State armed group so far has not claimed responsibility.

"The target is creating confusion because we have no idea what was the actual target," says Hekmatullah Azamy, a researcher at the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies. "We don't have clear answers. But my understanding is that it could be a collaboration between Haqqani and the Islamic State."

Deep divisions

What's certain is that the situation in Afghanistan is extremely volatile and this attack should be viewed in a broader context.

"There are deep divisions within Afghanistan, at the local and political level," says Avinash Paliwal. "Containing an attack like this is very difficult at the best of times. Given the situation and the capacity constraints the government has, it's doubly difficult. What we've seen, ever since the withdrawal of the US troops, is a steady rise of violence from various groups, including the Islamic State."

Attacks like this are not a rare occurence.

Afghan troops backed by US and Nato forces have been struggling to beat back the Taliban and now the White House is considering sending thousands more soldiers to break the deadlock.

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