Car bomb attack foiled near Afghan Interior Ministry
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan security forces on Tuesday foiled a suicide bomber’s attempt to attack the Interior Ministry in Kabul with an explosives-filled car, officials said.
A car bomb failed to detonate near the entrance to the ministry compound, said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ron Flesvig, a spokesman for the NATO mission. He said Afghan security forces detained the driver.
Flesvig said U.S. forces did not fire their weapons. He declined to provide further details on the incident, citing security reasons.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the Interior Ministry said the driver was recognized as he was attempting to get through a checkpoint near the ministry headquarters. He claimed to be taking a patient to the nearby Jamhuriat Hospital, it said.
In a video accompanying the Facebook post, a man who identifies himself as Shah Agha said he was recruited by a man named Qari Ehsanullah, who he said is the Taliban shadow governor of the Tagab district in the northeastern Kapisa province. He said Ehsanullah took him to training and brought him to Kabul to surveil the area of the ministry and hospital before attempting the attack.
The video also shows Afghan officials tearing apart a white car and pulling out many plastic shopping bags filled with powdery substances and detonating cord.
The incident occurred at about 9 a.m., according to a security warning issued by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“Embassy personnel have been advised to avoid the Ministry of Interior and the surrounding area until further notice,” it said.
Western security officials have warned that Haqqani network insurgents were believed to be plotting an attack similar to the massive car bombing on April 19 outside an office of the National Directorate of Security in Kabul. That blast killed nearly 70 people and wounded hundreds more.
Interior Ministry officials did not immediately comment on Tuesday’s incident.