Deadly Car Bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq

Deadly Car Bombings in Afghanistan, IraqDeadly Car Bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq

A suicide car bombing near a military base in eastern Afghanistan that once hosted CIA employees killed at least 33 people, mostly women and children, while car bombs and suicide attacks targeting mainly Shia districts of Baghdad killed at least 35 people on Sunday.

The Sunday evening bombing in Afghanistan hit a checkpoint manned by members of the Khost Provincial Force, an Afghan unit that guards Camp Chapman, said Youqib Khan, deputy police chief in Khost Province, AP reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the bomber was trying to get onto the base or what led to his attack, Khan said. Chapman is an Afghan base with some American special operations forces there, according to a US military official.

Mubarez Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor, and a senior police official confirmed the new toll, which included 27 civilians and six Afghan security personnel.

“Twelve children and three women are among the dead.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban, who last week held their first face-to-face peace talks with the Afghan government, have often targeted Afghan and foreign troops.

At least 12 civilians were also killed in twin roadside bomb blasts over the weekend, officials said, blaming the attacks on the Taliban.

The insurgents launched a countrywide offensive in late April, stepping up attacks on government and foreign targets despite the nascent peace talks in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade.

The UN mission in the country has said almost 1,000 civilians were killed in militant attacks during the first four months of this year, a sharp jump from the same period of last year.

In 2009, Camp Chapman was the target of a spectacular suicide attack claimed by Al-Qaeda. Seven CIA American officials were killed in the deadliest assault on the US agency since 1983, when eight officers died in an attack on a military base in Beirut.

In 2010, 24 Taliban militants, some wearing US uniforms, were killed when they tried to storm Camp Chapman and another nearby US base, Camp Salerno.

The base was hit again by a suicide car bomb in 2012 that killed three Afghans in a blast powerful enough to rattle windows four kilometers away.

Camp Chapman is located less than 4 km from the city of Khost, which is near the Pakistani border, a volatile region where the Taliban, but also a multitude of armed groups, hold sway.

NATO ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in December, leaving local forces to battle the Taliban alone, but a residual force remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

  Baghdad Blasts

One of the deadliest attacks targeting Iraqi Shias in the past few months hit the northern Sha’ab neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, where a car bomb followed by a suicide blast killed 19 people, security and medical sources said.

The car exploded near a crowded market and, as police and bystanders gathered, an attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body.

In Bunouk district in the capital’s northeast, a bomb in a car killed nine people, the sources said.

Security forces were sweeping areas nearby, some with sniffer dogs, after receiving information about two further possible bombs, they said.

More than 100 people were wounded in the three explosions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Islamic State militants who control much of northern Iraq and the province of Anbar west of Baghdad regularly send bombers into the capital.

Earlier on Sunday, a suicide bomber killed five people in Kadhimiya neighborhood, home to the revered Al-Kadhimiya Mosque, shortly before dusk and the end of the daily Ramadan fast.

Another bomb in the Iskan district of western Baghdad killed two people, medical sources said. Police also said a roadside bomb on a commercial street in Baghdad’s Al-Amal neighborhood killed two people and wounded seven.