As Afghanistan mourned another deadly attack Sunday — one that raises questions about the potential for stability in the region — a top American general says US victory in Afghanistan is still a possibility.
The Afghan government declared a national day of mourning after an ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded street in the capital of Kabul, killing 103 people.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack, which injured 235 people, including 30 police officers, Kabul police chief Basir Mojahid said. It comes a week after militants stormed a Kabul hotel and killed scores in a 12-hour standoff.
Flags were flown at half-staff nationwide after the latest attack. The government set aside Monday as a public holiday and Tuesday as a day of prayer for the victims, according to presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi.
The blast Saturday occurred after the ambulance passed through a security checkpoint, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
Police identified the attacker at a second checkpoint, Rahimi said, but couldn’t stop him before he detonated the explosives in a central area near the old Interior Ministry building, a hospital and diplomatic buildings.
The attack, in the heart of what’s considered the most secure part of the city, renewed doubts over Afghan authorities’ ability to keep people safe.
Meanwhile, the head of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told CNN that the attacks do nothing to dampen the United States’ resolve to help Afghanistan, and that victory in the war-torn country remains “absolutely, absolutely” possible.
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SOURCE: CNN, Ehsan Popalzai, Faith Karimi, and Laura Smith-Spark