Afghanistan/Taliban – A car bomber attacked a Danish convoy belonging to the NATO-led military mission in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on the 24 Sep 17 wounding a number of civilians but leaving international forces unharmed, security officials said. A Danish military spokesman said some civilians may have been killed but Afghan officials reported no fatalities. Security officials say five civilians had been wounded while the interior ministry put the figure at three. Captain William Salvin, a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support mission, confirmed an attack had occurred and said a team was on the scene to recover the vehicle. “There are no Resolute Support casualties as a result of the explosion,” Salvin he said in an emailed statement. The Danish spokesman said the Danish soldiers were part of a security team normally engaged in protecting advisers travelling to and from the Afghan military academy near Kabul. NATO personnel travelling by road normally travel in convoys of three heavily armoured personnel carriers which can resist all but the heaviest explosions. Past suicide attacks on such convoys have usually caused casualties among nearby civilians while leaving their targets relatively unharmed. NATO personnel now often travel even short distances in Kabul by helicopter. The Taliban, which often exaggerates casualty estimates from its attacks, said 16 Americans had been killed and three armoured vehicles destroyed. It said it was preparing to step up the pace of attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan – At least 12 Afghan police were killed and four wounded when a Humvee packed with explosives drove into their checkpoint in the southern province of Kandahar late on the 27 Sep 17 a government official said. Abdul Bari Baryalai, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the attack took place in Maruf district, bordering Pakistan. The attack, in one of the Taliban’s heartlands, underlines the threats faced by Afghan security forces, notably police units on the front lines of the battle against insurgents who control or contest about 40 percent of Afghanistan. The incident came on the same day that militants attacked Kabul airport while U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis was visiting the Afghan capital.
Afghanistan/Da’esh – At least five civilians were killed on the 29 Sep 17 when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Shia mosque in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, according to officials. As many as 19 others were wounded in the attack close to Hussainia mosque that came two days before Ashura, the holiest holiday in the Shia religious calendar. Police official Sadiq Muradi said police confronted the suicide bomber as he came through a checkpoint near the holy site, calling for him to stop. It was then when the attacker ignited his explosives, blowing himself up. "The bomber was grazing a herd of sheep and before reaching his target he detonated himself 140 metres from Hussainia mosque," General Salim Almas, Kabul's criminal investigative director said. Najibullah Danish, interior ministry spokesman, said that all victims were civilians. Kabul's Emergency Hospital tweeted that it had received 19 wounded, including four children. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a communiqué, the SITE monitoring group said. Earlier, the Taliban had been quick to distance themselves from the bombing. "Today's Kabul attack has nothing to do with us. After a thorough investigation, we found out that we had no operation in Kabul, and this attack is not linked to us," Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said. There had been fears fighters would attack as Shia Muslims prepare to commemorate Ashura. The holiday falls on the 10th day of Muharram, which is the mourning period for the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. The faithful gather to beat their chests and hit their backs with chains until they bleed in commemoration of Hussein's death. But in recent years the sacred day has been marred by deadly violence. In 2011, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of a crowd of worshippers at the main Shia shrine in Kabul on Ashura, killing 80 people, including women and children. Afghan officials blamed the bombing - the first major sectarian attack on a key religious day in Afghanistan - on Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. In Oct 16 gunmen entered the Karte Sakhi shrine near Kabul University and killed 18 people gathering to mark Ashura, an attack claimed by the ISIL group. The following day at least 14 Shia were killed in a bombing at a mosque in northern Afghanistan. A few weeks later Baqui-ul-Ulom mosque in Kabul was targeted when a massive suicide blast claimed by ISIL killed dozens of worshippers.