Kabul, Dec 2 (EFE).- The Taliban thwarted an attempt to kill veteran warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also known as the “Butcher of Kabul”, who was in a mosque in Kabul ahead of a Friday sermon.
The attempted attack occurred early in the afternoon in southwest Kabul, when two attackers tried to storm the complex in a vehicle loaded with explosives, area chief of Kabul police, Mulavi Zabiullah, told EFE.
“Two suicide bombers (…) were intercepted by the security forces before their attack. Both suicide bombers were killed and a member of the security forces also died,” Zabiullah said.
“The suicide bombers were in a car bomb that tried to enter Hekmatyar’s office, but the security guards recognized them and killed them. One of the security guards who detected the suicide bombers was also killed,” Mohammad Rahim, a member of Hekmatyar’s party, told Efe.
The authorities have not shared details about the attackers or whether they were linked to any terrorist organization.
Afghanistan’s security situation, especially in the capital, has been highly challenging for the Taliban since they seized power in 2021.
Suicide bombings and attacks on mosques, schools, diplomatic areas and high-security zones have repeatedly rocked the country, with most of them being claimed by the Islamic State terror group.
Hekmatyar, who has close ties to the Taliban, belongs to the Pashtun ethnic group and was dubbed “emir of the two jihads” by his followers, a nod to his past as a prominent anti-Soviet commander (1979-1989) and more recently when he fought against United States forces.
During the Afghan civil war in the 1990s, he led the Hezb-e-Islami (Party of Islam) which partnered with the Taliban and al Qaeda to combat foreign troops in the country after the US invasion in 2001.
The charismatic leader, who was prime minister on two occasions during the 1990s, returned to Kabul after two decades in hiding when the 2016 peace deal with the US was penned under Ashraf Ghani’s government.
Hekmatyar earned his gory nickname following a string of bombings on Kabul in 1992 in an attempt to seize control of the capital.
The series of attacks killed at least 1,000 civilians and injured 8,000, the Red Cross reported at the time. EFE