Conflicts & War

Afghan security service spokesperson killed in targeted attack in Kabul

Kabul, Jan 10 (efe-epa).- The spokesperson of Afghan government security service National Public Protection Force (NPPF), Zia Wadan, and two of his colleagues were killed on Sunday in a fresh targeted killing in Kabul, even as the country has witnessed almost daily attacks against politicians, activists, intellectuals and journalists in recent weeks.

The attack took place around 8.30 am in the center of Kabul, when an improvised explosive device exploded as the vehicle carrying Wadan and many others to work was passing by, interior ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian told EFE.

Wadan and two other members of the NPPF were killed in the attack, while another civilian was injured, the spokesperson said.

The NPPF, which functions under the National Security Council, is responsible for protecting government and non-governmental institutions and escorting government convoys, Kabul police spokesperson Firdaws Faramarz explained to EFE.

In his last tweet on Saturday, Wadan had shared information about the graduation ceremony of 400 NPPF cadets along with a photo in which he could be seen sitting behind National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib.

No armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, although Arian directly blamed the Taliban, a consistent response by the government to the recent spate of targeted killings.

“Terrorists who are recently detained (in relation with other assassinations), in their confessions clearly said that they are members of the Taliban group,” said Arian, adding that these “war crimes” were “unjustifiable.”

However, the Taliban have repeatedly denied being behind these attacks and in turn blamed the Afghan security forces of carrying out the killings to spread negative propaganda against the militants.

Sunday’s attack comes on the back of a wave of unprecedented targeted killings in 2020 against journalists, activists, politicians and intellectuals in Afghanistan, where shootings and sticky bomb attacks against victims’ vehicles have become already a daily occurrence.

The Afghan government late last month decided to double the number of police officers and increase CCTV surveillance in Kabul following a series of similar assassinations.

The United States’ forces in Afghanistan have also backed the theory that the Taliban have resorted to these attacks as part of a fresh strategy to grab headlines and sustain pressure in the cities, without having to carry out major attacks.

The incident also comes after the second round of peace negotiations between the rebels and the Afghan government began earlier this week in Doha.

The talks, which seek to put an end to almost two decades of Afghan war, have been going on since September. EFE-EPA


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