News / Asia

Taliban Claims Responsibility for Attack on US Company

Afghan security members of Contrack company stand at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 17, 2012.
Afghan security members of Contrack company stand at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 17, 2012.
Sharon Behn
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a U.S. contracting company on the outskirts of Kabul which killed at least one Afghan, injuring several others.

The suicide bomber rammed a vehicle filled with explosives into the outside compound wall of Contrack International, which is involved in building aircraft runways and ammunition storage systems for military bases around Afghanistan.

Speaking through an interpreter, a security officer for the company described the daylight assault.

"It was around 11, and we were in the office when we heard a very loud explosion," he said. "Then, for about 15 minutes, there was dust everywhere and we couldn't see anything, and as we went out to the back, we saw a suicide car bomber had exploded himself, and wounded 11 to 12 people, and one of them was in critical condition. We don't know if he is alive or dead."

According to the security officer, five foreign staff were injured in the blast.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, claiming the company was involved in security.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said they'd been watching the company for some time, and that the attack had killed more than 100 foreign and local staff.

Kabul's deputy police chief confirmed people had been injured in the explosion, but did not provide any numbers.

"Unfortunately, there was a suicide attack with the bomber using a vehicle, but the incident is still under investigation," said Gen. Mohammad Daud Amin. "The attack took place in the back of the Contrack compound where there is a street, where the vehicle exploded causing casualties and damage to the area."

Contrack International, a multi-million dollar company, first opened its offices in Kabul in 2003. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries. According to the Orascom website, Contrack is one of the largest contractors operating in Afghanistan, employing over 1,400 staff full-time staff.

Just hours before the Kabul blast, another explosion took place in eastern Nangarhar province on the border with Pakistan. Ten Afghan girls gathering firewood were killed in the explosion, apparently set off by an old landmine.
 
The head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, said he was saddened by the news. After 30 years of war, Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries on earth, he said.
 
In neighboring Pakistan, a massive car bomb went off in a market in the country's northwestern border tribal region, killing least 17 people, including women and children. Taliban and al-Qaida militants regularly operate in the area.
 
The attack came on the heels of a Pakistani Taliban rocket and bomb attack on the international airport in the provincial capital of Peshawar over the weekend. Four people died in that assault.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs