At least five people have been killed, following a car bomb in the Afghan capital city, Kabul, near the airport, by suspected Taliban militants.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani demanded that Pakistan crack down on the Taliban after a car bomb explosion near Kabul airport claimed by the Islamist militants killed five people on Monday, the latest in a series of suicide attacks to rock the capital.
The attacks have followed a change of leadership in the Taliban and have dashed any hopes of an immediate resumption of peace talks with the government. They suggest new Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour intends to send a message that there will be no letup in the insurgency.
The attacks, which have killed dozens of civilians and wounded hundreds more, have also stoked tensions with neighboring Pakistan, the base of many leaders of the hardline movement, according to many in Afghanistan.
Ghani, who has made improving relations with Pakistan a priority on the grounds it may push the Taliban into peace talks, said that Islamabad had to tackle the bomb-making factories and suicide training camps being run on its side of the border.
“We hoped for peace, but war is declared against us from Pakistani territory; this in fact puts into a display a clear hostility against a neighboring country,” he said.
Afghan officials said five people were killed and 16 wounded in Monday’s suicide attack in a crowded area outside an airport checkpoint. A woman and a child were among the injured.
The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it was targeting “foreign forces”. It denied any Afghan civilians had been killed in the attack.
A security official at the scene said the attack appeared to have been aimed at two armored cars, although it was not clear who was in the vehicles. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the occupants of the two targeted vehicles were foreigners and had all been killed.