A suicide car bomber killed three people and wounded dozens more outside a NATO-run training base yesterday, in an attack claimed by the Taliban to avenge the execution of its members.
Several NATO soldiers were lightly wounded, a spokesman for the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, without giving further details.
Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was to avenge the execution on Wednesday of four Taliban members who had been on death row in Kabul.
“It was a car bomb by our mujahidin on a military training centre,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
“It was a revenge attack by our mujahidin in response to the execution of four mujahidin by the Kabul administration.”
A police spokesman said the blast was near “a joint coordination office for the Afghan army, police and NATO troops in Maidan Shar,” the capital of Wardak Province, about 50km from Kabul.
“From this center, they go for military operations,” Abdul Wali said.
The bomber detonated explosives packed into a water tanker truck about 40m from the joint operations center, a senior police official told reporters by telephone.
The base is close to the provincial governor’s office and two of his bodyguards were among the dead, his spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told reporters.
“We have three killed — two bodyguards of the governor and a 10-year-old girl. Ninety people were wounded, 75 men, 11 women and four children,” Shahid said.
The four executed Taliban members were among a total of 14 prisoners hanged over two days this week in rare mass executions.
The Taliban, who are leading an insurgency against the Western-backed government and 100,000 NATO troops, had warned there would be “heavy repercussions” for government officials if any of their militants were executed.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved the executions of the men who were sentenced to death “on charges of terror, conducting attacks, explosions and organizing suicide attacks,” the government said.
The executions were condemned by the UN, the EU and human rights groups, with many pointing out that Afghanistan’s justice system is notoriously weak.