Entries in Suicide Bombing (42)


Suicide Bombing at Afghan Police Station Kills at Least 12

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A suicide attack in southern Afghanistan killed at least 12 people on Friday and wounded at least five others.

A spokesman for the governor of the Uruzgan province said that the attacker detonated his vest inside the crowded main dining hall for an elite police force. Police and civilians were among those killed in the explosion.

Mohammad Khpalwak, a senior Afghan intelligence officer said that the attacker wore a police uniform and managed to get inside the cafeteria where senior officers, relatives and friends were eating. It is unclear whether the bomber was a member of the police force.

Khpalwak added that the bombing was a breach of security that would be investigated.

In a separate incident, two children were killed by a roadside bombing in the district of Chora. The two children were between the ages of 10 and 11.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan 'Loved the Work She Was Doing'

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The friends and family of Anne Smedinghoff are mourning the 25-year-old Foreign Service Officer killed in a car bomb blast in southern Afghanistan whom they describe as vivacious and loving.

Smedinghoff was one of five Americans killed in a suicide bomb attack in Qalat, Zabul.

Working as a press officer for the U.S. embassy in Kabul, she was helping Afghan journalists cover an event at a boys school where the local U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team was to donate math and science books.

The other Americans killed in the attack were three military service members and a civilian working for the Defense Department. Four State Department officials, including one described as critically injured, were among the 10 injured in the attack.

"The world lost a truly beautiful soul," Tom and Mary Beth Smedinghoff said in a statement. "Anne absolutely loved the work she was doing" as a press officer at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, they said.
Having served in the Foreign Service for only three years, Smedinghoff volunteered to serve in Afghanistan and arrived last July.

"We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved, and that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world," her parents said. "She was such a wonderful woman -- strong, intelligent, independent, and loving. Annie, you left us too soon; we love you and we're going to miss you so much."

Traveling in Istanbul, Secretary of State John Kerry described Smedinghoff's death as the "stealing of a young life."

"There are no words for anybody to describe the extraordinary harsh contradiction of a young 25-year-old woman with all of the future ahead of her, believing in the possibilities of diplomacy, of changing people's lives, of making a difference, having an impact, who was taking knowledge in books to deliver them to a school. And someone somehow persuaded that taking her -- his life was a wiser course and somehow constructive, drives into their vehicle and we lose five lives," Kerry said.

Kerry had met Smedinghoff two weeks ago during his recent trip to Afghanistan, where she had been assigned to coordinate his trip.

"I remember her as vivacious, smart, capable, often chosen by the ambassador for her capabilities," Kerry said. He said of his call to Smedinghoff's parents on Saturday that "there is no harder conversation to have in the world."

Afghan security officials told ABC News that the State Department convoy had just left its headquarters in Qalat and joined the convoy of the local provincial governor who was also headed to the school book giveaway.

That's when two suicide attackers attacked the convoy. The security officials said there was an initial car bomb detonated by a remote device. Then a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest appeared and caused more casualties.

Afghan sources say the school event had been announced a day in advance, which possibly allowed attackers enough time to plan the attack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's Afghan Visit Met by Suicide Attacks

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least 18 people are dead following two suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday that coincided with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to the country.

The first bomber struck the defense ministry in Kabul. The bomber was riding a bicycle when the bomb was set off. Nine people were killed and 20 additional people were injured.

The aftermath of the scene was chaotic. The explosion was so strong it left large shrapnel holes in nearby concrete blast walls.

Saturday's other reported attack occurred outside Khost, a city to the south-east of Kabul. The bomber was on foot, targeting a joint patrol close to the U.S. military's Camp Salerno base, according to a police spokesman who spoke with BBC News.

A policeman spotted the bomber and hugged him in an attempt to shield others from some of the force of the blast with his body. Still, ninewere killed, and some boys working in a nearby field were caught in the blast.

Hagel was in Kabul during the bombing, though at a different location.

It was not a coincidence that the attacks happened while Hagel was in Afghanistan. In an email, the Taliban took credit for the Kabul attack and said they had targeted one of the entrances used by soldiers and officers.

"The attack happened during the trip of the U.S. defense secretary, and the attack had a message for him," the statement added.

Hagel expressed his condolences to those who lost loved ones. The defense secretary came to Afghanistan to get a better feel for what it was like on the ground, and was not shocked by the suicide bombings or the reality of the situation.

“We're in a war zone. I've been in war,” Hagel said. “So, [we] shouldn't be surprised if a bomb goes off or an explosion."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bombing in Pakistan Kills 30, Injures 50

George Doyle/Thinkstock(KARACHI, Pakistan) -- Pakistan's largest city was the site of a deadly suicide bomb blast on Sunday morning.

The explosion is the latest attack on Pakistan's Shiite minority. The bomber reportedly struck directly outside a Shiite mosque as people were leaving, killing at least 30 people and injuring at least 50 more. According to the BBC, the explosion destroyed several buildings and set others on fire in the residential area.

While Karachi is often named among the most dangerous cities in the world, there had not been a targeted suicide attack in quite a while.

Pakistan's Shiite minority are often the target of attacks from Sunni militant groups, according to the BBC.

Shiites in other areas of Pakistan have already begun to retaliate and form armed militias. Some fear that if similar organizing were to occur in Karachi, the violence could spin out of control.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bombing at US Base in Afghanistan Kills at Least Five

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least five Afghans were killed on Sunday during a suicide attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, according to U.S. military officials.

Authorities say the attack at the Jalalbad airfield began in the morning, when two vehicles packed with explosives detonated as they tried to breach the front gate.

A lengthy gun battle ensued between NATO forces and at least nine attackers.  Several coalition forces were wounded, but none were killed.  All the attackers were killed.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wave of Bombings Leaves Dozens Dead in Syria

AFP/Getty Images(ALEPPO, Syria) -- A series of car bombings in northern Syria Wednesday have left at least 31 people dead and dozens more wounded, reports the BBC.

The blasts occurred in Saadallah al-Jabari Square in Aleppo, near a military officers' club and a hotel, according to the BBC.  Aleppo is Syria's second largest city and has recently been a site of contention between government and rebel forces who are battling for its control.

Video of the scene shows considerable structural damage.  The fear now is that some are still trapped under the mountain of rubble.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dozens Killed by Coordinated Bombings in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least 40 people were killed by bombings Tuesday in what was one of Afghanistan's most violent days of the year.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the assaults, although suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban, which has been actively seeking to retain the power it lost following a U.S.-led invasion nearly 11 years ago.

In the deadliest of the strikes, witnesses said that a group of 10 suicide bombers went on a mission to blow themselves up in heavily-populated areas of Zaranj, the capital of southwestern Nimruz province.

Three of the bombers were successful in detonating the explosives near government buildings, killing 30 passersby and wounding 60 others in the process.

Afghan security forces did manage to shoot dead three of the assailants and capture four others before they could blow themselves up.

Later in the day, 10 civilians died and more than 30 were wounded by a remotely detonated bomb attack in the northern province of Kunduz.

Responding to the assaults on civilians, the commander of NATO forces appealed to the Taliban's supreme leader to stop the bloodshed.

Gen. John Allen said, "What we saw today were further acts of intentional mass murder.  Once again, I call on Mullah Omar to rein in his murderers.  His intentions not to target civilians are hollow."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bombing in Yemen Kills More than 40 During Funeral

SANAA, Yemen(SANAA, Yemen) -- Dozens of people were reportedly killed by a suicide bomb attack carried out Saturday in the southern Yemeni city of Jaar.

Witnesses said that mourners were attending a funeral service for a nephew of an al Qaeda sympathizer who had recently joined forces with the Yemeni army when someone detonated a powerful explosive.

At least 24 people were killed at the scene, with another 20 later dying from injuries they suffered.  At least 40 people were also wounded in the attack.

Jaar is one of several towns in southern Yemen that was under al Qaeda control until government forces moved in to expel them.

Saturday's bombing came after a U.S. drone strike in the southeastern province of Hadramaut that killed five suspected al Qaeda militants.

Washington has stepped up its effort in assisting the Yemeni government against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, now considered the terrorist group's most active wing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


WATCH: Behind-the-Scenes Video of Deadly Taliban Attack Emerges

ABC News(ISLAMABAD) -- The Taliban has released a new video that offers a chilling play-by-play account of a deadly, coordinated attack on a large U.S. base that climaxed with an explosion so strong the shockwaves could be felt for miles away.

The hour-long video, released by the group's propaganda wing, shows the entire attack, which took place last month, from its initial planning stages to the dramatic moment when a suicide bomber detonates a ten-ton bomb outside the gates of Camp Salerno, the third largest U.S. base in the country. The blast is captured from three cameras, each at different angles, while militants provide commentary in the background.

In addition to offering rare insight into the group's planning for a large mission, the video also shows the Taliban's increasingly sophisticated video production capabilities. The interviews are shot in a style that look more like something seen on an American reality TV show than the deserts of Afghanistan and the jihadi songs that play in the background feature digitally-altered vocals.

"Those who came here insulting Islam and the Koran, I will take revenge on them," the Taliban's suicide truck bomber says calmly to the camera. He is shown sitting in the driver's seat of the flat bed truck just minutes before the attack, explosives already loaded. A bouquet of flowers sits on the windowsill.

"God willing, this will teach them a lesson that they will remember and will always be frightened by," he says, the truck's engine still running.

Moments later, the video -- shot from a distance -- shows the truck slowly driving up to the base, while an unidentified militant behind the camera invokes verses from the Koran. As the truck approaches the main gate, it explodes sending a massive, dark-grey mushroom cloud booming hundreds of feet into the sky. The next shot shows the rippling shockwaves travelling across the countryside in slow motion.

After the smoke clears, the now-grainy video shows ten Taliban fighters driving up to the base in a minivan. They exit the vehicle wearing military uniforms and body armor, their faces covered by black masks, and storm the base. The ensuing firefight is captured from a distance, seemingly unedited, with a heavy exchange of gunfire and helicopter gunships hovering overhead.

The Taliban claim twenty coalition troops were killed in the attack -- numbers that NATO denies. While the footage does not show any specific casualties, it does show major damage to the base, including the crumpled roofs of nearby buildings, the sheer force of the explosion ripping them up from their bearings. The main target of the bomb, the dining hall, was completely flattened.

Initially, NATO did not report any casualties, but later admitted two American troops were killed and three dozen suffered serious wounds, while more than 100 others were treated for minor injuries.

"The propaganda video of the attack on Forward Operating Base Salerno June 1st is simply an attempt by the insurgents to sensationalize this action," ISAF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz said. "While this attack achieved some limited initial success, the insurgents were quickly killed and there was no significant long-term interruption to the base's operations. What this video really shows is the insurgents' selfish efforts to recruit and propagandize more young men to needlessly die for a failed cause."

Earlier in the video, many of the militants can be seen wearing U.S. army fatigues as they train in the mountains with rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and AK-47s. In a show of strength, the group's commander practices firing from two AK-47s simultaneously, one in each hand. Later, he is seen briefing the militants on the mission. The briefing includes aerial photographs, plus a miniature mockup indicating the locations of the major targets inside the base.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Several Possible Suspects Sought in Bulgaria Suicide Bombing

STR/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Bulgarian and international investigators are conducting a manhunt for several possible suspects believed to have helped a suicide bomber carry out a deadly terrorist attack on a bus filled with Israeli tourists at the Black Sea resort of Burgas, Bulgarian airport officials told ABC News on Sunday.

Four days after the deadly blast, investigators in Bulgaria and in several other countries are still struggling to confirm the attacker's identity.

"The key question is from what country the bomber entered Bulgaria.  At the moment we do not have an answer," one official said.  "But what we know now is that he was not acting alone."

The results of an autopsy on Sunday provided some new information on the bomber.

Dr. Galina Mileva, who conducted the autopsy in Burgas, told ABC News in a phone interview that a DNA profile has been given to authorities.  She said "the kamikaze" was definitely not a dark-skinned Arab.

"He had white skin, blue eyes and short thick brown hair," she said.  "He was a male, between 20 and 30 years old, but more analysis needs to be done to determine his exact age and height."

On Friday, Bulgarian Police began distributing a sketch of an Arab-looking suspected accomplice in hopes that the public could help them in the investigation.  So far, they have not broadcast the sketch on national TV.

This suspect appears to be a different man from the one believed to have been the bomber shown in photos and airport video released by Bulgarian authorities.

Afrodita Pavlova, who together with her husband runs Afrodita Tours, said that a man with a suspicious Michigan driver's license -- like the one reportedly found on the dead bomber -- twice came to their office over the course of three days trying to rent a car.

They refused to rent it to him because, she said, he did not look like the person pictured on the licence.  After hearing on the news that the bomber had a fake U.S. driver's license, they contacted the authorities, she said, but told them that after seeing the bomber's pictures, they think this is a different man.

"He was Arab-looking with short, short hair and brown eyes," Pavlova said.

Several Bulgarian media outlets have reported suspicions that the bomber could have had accomplices who detonated the explosives by cellphone.  The Bulgarian daily Standard quoted police sources on Sunday as saying that at least two suspects were believed to have backed up or controled the suicide bomber.

Bulgaria's government has not released any new information over the weekend about its ongoing investigation.  The attack occurred on July 18 shortly after the Israelis boarded a bus outside the airport in Burgas, a popular tourist destination for young Israelis, about 250 miles east of capital Sofia.

Bulgarian investigators said on Friday that they had managed to obtain DNA samples from the fingers of the bomber and were checking databases in an attempt to identify him.  Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told parliament he hoped that would be done in three to four days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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