Attacks on army, police and US special forces kill 50 in Kabul

By REUTERS
August 9, 2015 06:49

 
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KABUL- A wave of attacks on the Afghan army and police and U.S. special forces in Kabul have killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds, dimming hopes that the Taliban might be weakened by a leadership struggle after their longtime leader's death.

The bloodshed began on Friday with a truck bomb that exploded in a heavily populated district and included an hours-long battle at a base used by US special forces. It became the deadliest day in Kabul for years.

The Islamist insurgents claimed responsibility for both the police academy attack and the battle at the US special forces base, though not for the truck bomb.

The violence was a reminder of the difficulty of reviving a stalled peace process, conveying a no-compromise message from the Taliban following the late July revelation of Mullah Mohammad Omar's death and a dispute over the leadership of the insurgency.

"The question is, who is sending the message?" said Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said Friday was the most violent day since it began recording civilian casualties in 2009, with 355 civilians killed or injured.

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