British embassy convoy attacked in Kabul: live – Telegraph.co.uk

A spokesman said:

QuoteAt 1020 am local time this morning in Kabul a suicide vehicle borne
improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated targeting a British Embassy
vehicle moving through the city.

A local member of the Embassy staff and an expatriate G4S security team
member were both killed in the explosion. A second British member of the G4S
security team was injured. An investigation into the incident is underway
and therefore we are unable to comment further at this time.

Next of kin have been informed and we will continue to provide them with
support. Our thoughts and most heartfelt condolences are with the families,
friends and colleagues of those involved in this tragic incident.

12.29 Further response from the Foreign Secretary.

12.16 Here is the Foreign Secretary’s statement
in full
.

QuoteThis morning a British Embassy vehicle was attacked in the Afghan capital,
Kabul.

I am deeply saddened to confirm that a British national civilian security
team member and an Afghan national working for the Embassy were killed in
the incident. A second British member of the security team was injured.

I condemn this appalling attack on innocent civilians supporting our
diplomatic activity. The families of the victims have been informed and my
thoughts are with them. The Foreign Office will do everything it can to
support them.

This outrage brings home to us once again the courage and perseverance of
the people of Afghanistan and members of the international community who
support them, who have lived together through decades of conflict.

We will not allow such inhumanity to deter us from continuing our
partnership with the Government of Afghanistan. I have nothing but
admiration for the staff of the Embassy, British and Afghan, who work at
great personal risk to help build a better future for Afghanistan.

12.14 PA – One British national and one Afghan working for the embassy
were killed during an attack on a vehicle in Kabul this morning, Foreign
Secretary Philip Hammond said.

12.03 Our political correspondent, Georgia Graham, has just been
to a briefing with the prime minister about the attack.

She writes:

David Cameron has condemned the “appalling attack” on British embassy staff in
Kabul

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said:

QuoteWhat I would say on his behalf of course is to condemn the appalling attack
and to associate the Prime Minister entirely with the sadness about the fact
that British embassy staff have been involved in that attack.

We will be working very closely with the Afghan authorities to establish
all the facts and details relating to the incident.”

He added that security measures at the Embassy are kept constantly under
review and will let the Foreign office “go through the process it has” in
deciding whether to heighten the measures.

11.02 Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told The Telegraph over
the phone from an undisclosed location that today’s attack on the employees
of the British embassy was carried out by a Taliban member from the southern
Kandahar province.

QuoteA large amount of explosives were placed in the Corolla car, which
we used for the attack.

We understand that a number of civilians were also wounded by the broken
windows – but the target was the convoy of the British embassy.

10.55 More images are coming in from the scene.

10.49 Police in Kabul have confirmed the death toll.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-packed car into a British embassy
vehicle in Kabul on Thursday, killing one British citizen and at least five
Afghans, Kabul police said in a statement.

Hashmat Stanakzai, police spokesman, said in an emailed press statement:

QuoteOne British national was killed in today’s attack.

10.38 Habib Khan Totakhil, the Wall Street Journal’s correspondent in
Kabul, notes that the site of the attack is where numerous previous bombings
took place.

10.30 The Afghan Ministry of Interior in a statement has confirmed that
five people, including one British citizen, were killed and 33 people
including four children were wounded.

The ministry has called it “an inhuman act by the enemies of peace and
stability in Afghanistan.”

QuoteThe ministry of interior strongly condemns todays attack on the foreign
citizens.

10.11 Our correspondent in Kabul, Zubair Babakarkhail, has more
detail.

The bomb hit a four-wheel-drive vehicle belonging to the British embassy. The
remains of the vehicle were found up to 40 meters away from where the bomb
hit – and the embassy vehicle was totally destroyed, with no roof at all and
all its windows broken. On the road were bloodied remains of sandals and car
parts.

Gul Karim, 56, who lives in the district of Qabilbai – where the attack
happened – said that the explosion was huge and it broke the windows at his
home.

QuoteI was at the house and preparing to go out, and heard a very big explosion.

As I arrived on the scene, there were lots of people lying on the ground
and screaming.

I saw one of my neighbours and a cobbler who used to work in front of the
mosque were dead. There were more people killed too.

10.04 Our video desk have brought you the latest images from the scene.

10.01 Zubair Babakarkhail, reporting from Kabul, said that the
Kabul police have confirmed that one Briton and his translator, an Afghan
citizen named Tawab, were killed in the attack. The police also said that
the death toll is now at seven people. As many as 34 others are wounded.

09.42 Reuters says the attack happened near “the Green Village”
international zone – itself the target of a failed attacked last week by
militants with a car bomb and gunmen.

Thursday’s blast shredded the four-wheel-drive embassy vehicle, leaving a
charred shell lying on its side.

On Monday, a bomb in Kabul killed two U.S. soldiers as they were traveling in
their vehicle.

09.33 Mustafa Deveci, IHA news agency correspondent, has taken this
photo.

It shows the damage to the embassy car.

09.28 REUTERS – One British citizen was among five people killed in
Thursday’s suicide attack on a British embassy vehicle in the Afghan
capital, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The other four killed in
the blast were Afghans, the statement said. The explosion wounded 33 people.

09.24 The Foreign Office has just put out the following message:

09.15 Following the story for us, Ruth Sherlock notes that this
report from
an Afghan news agency
says the suicide bomber was driving a Toyota
Corolla.

QuoteAyub Salangi, the spokesman of Ministry of Interior on his Twitter page
said the attack took place at around 9:30 am near Pul-e-Charkhi road close
to Qabalbai locality.

He confirmed the suicide bomber rammed his Corolla car in a convoy of
foreigners.

09.11 British embassies and staff have been targeted in trouble-spots
around the world in recent years, with Kabul among them.

In August 2008 a car bomb attack near the embassy in the Afghan
capital
left four people dead, although none were British personnel.

In November 2011 the embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran was closed
after it was stormed by a mob of protesters.

In April 2010 the then British ambassador to Yemen, Tim Torlet, escaped
unharmed when a suicide bomber wearing a school uniform detonated an
explosives belt as he made his way to work in the capital Sana’a. The
following October, his deputy, Fionna Gibb, escaped a rocket attack in the
city.

Last year the embassy in the Arab country was closed by the Foreign Office
during the Islamic festival Eid, amid “continuing security concerns”.

On November 2003 the British Consul-General in Turkey, Roger Short, was
killed by a suicide car bomb in Istanbul blamed on al Qaida which left 60
others dead and hundreds injured.

09.04 Simon Fraser, the head of the Foreign Office, has just issued
this response.

09.02 An “explosive packed vehicle” slammed into a diplomatic
vehicle at around 10.30am, a security source who was at the scene of the
attack told
Xinhua, China’s official news agency
.

08.49 Ruth Sherlock, who is also following the story for us, has spoken
to freelance journalist Zubair Babakarkhail.

QuoteI have just returned from the scene. The convoy was coming back towards
Kabul on the highway from Jalalabad. It’s not confirmed yet if the suicide
bomber was on a motorbike: some witnesses said it was a car bomb,

The bomb hit an SUV from the British embassy. The remains of the vehicle
was 40 meters from the bombing site – it was thrown by the force of the
explosion. It was totally damaged: windows were broken and there was no roof
left at all. There was blood on the ground in different spots.”

Four to five people were killed at the scene and witnesses said they were
all civilians.

One man told me he saw eight or nine people wounded, including foreigners.

It happened at the edge of Kabul city, on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway.

08.45 The New York Times correspondent in Kabul, Ahmad Shakib, has
tweeted photos from the scene.

08.42 The attack on the British convoy comes amid a difficult week in
the country.

Afghanistan suffered its deadliest attack of 2014 on Sunday, when a
suicide bomber struck at a volleyball match in the eastern province of
Paktika
, killing 57 people.

The Nato combat mission in Afghanistan will finish at the end of this year,
with about 12,500 troops staying on into 2015 to train and support the
Afghan army and police.

But concern is growing that Afghanistan could tip into a cycle of violence as
the Nato military presence declines, with the national security forces
already suffering high battlefield casualties.

President Ashraf Ghani, who came to power in September, has vowed to bring
peace to Afghanistan after decades of conflict, saying he is open to talks
with the Taliban, who ruled Kabul from 1996 to 2001.

08.36 The city of Kabul.

08.30 Our Asia correspondent, Tom Phillips, has just spoken to
Mustafa Deveci, a Kabul-based journalist who arrived at the scene around 20
minutes after the attack.

He says he saw an armoured vehicle which he believed belonged to the British
embassy. The vehicle had been very severely damaged by the blast.

QuoteIt was fully damaged and I am not sure if they left this car injured or
dead.

Mr Deveci also said he believed the suicide bomber had been driving in a car
rather than on a motorbike as Afghan authorities initially reported.

QuoteI can confirm it was a suicide bomber [in a] car.

08.27 This from Muhammad Lila, ABC News foreign correspondent.

08.23 The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message that a suicide bomber “targeted
foreign invading forces” and many were killed and wounded.

08.22 Latest from Afghanistan’s health ministry. Kaniska Turkistani,
spokesman for the ministry, tells Reuters at least five civilians were
killed and 34 wounded.

08.15 More images are coming in from the scene now.

08.11 Our Asia correspondent Tom Phillips has been finding out more
from the Afghan news agencies.

Ayub Salangi, an Interior Ministry spokesperson, says the motorcycle bomber
was seen “ramming” into the British embassy car, according
the Pajhwok news agency
.

An eyewitness said a number of other vehicles were also damaged.

07.55 We are still trying to bring you more details about the attack.

This is the latest from a freelance journalist in Kabul.

07.43 Our correspondent in Asia, Tom Phillips, has
been following the story
.

He writes:

An unknown number of British embassy employees have been injured after a
suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted an embassy vehicle in Kabul, killing
up to five people and injuring more than 30, according reports.

A powerful explosion shook the east of Afghanistan’s capital at around 10.30am
on Thursday, Hashmat Stanekazai, a spokesperson for the Kabul police, told
the Pajhwok news agency.

A giant column of smoke could be seen rising into the air around the city’s
Pul-e-Charkhi Road.

The attack was the work of a “suicide attacker on a motorcycle” and had
deliberately targeted “foreign vehicles”, General Mohammad Ayub Salangi, the
country’s Deputy Interior Minister, told reporters.

Kabir Amiri, a Kabul hospital chief, told AP at least five Afghan civilians
had been killed and up to 34 wounded.

Khaama Press, an Afghan news website, said at least four people had been
killed and at least twenty people injured.

The Taliban group claimed responsibility for the bombing, the agency added.

The number of British embassy staff hurt and the extent of their injuries was
not immediately clear.

“A British embassy vehicle was attacked. There are some injuries. We are
working with Afghan authorities,” a spokesperson for the British embassy
told AFP.

Kabul has been the setting for a string of recent attacks on military convoys
and residential compounds that are home to foreign workers.

Photographs of the attack site showed civilians walking past the mangled
wreckage of at least one vehicle.

07.34 This is the latest from the Foreign Office.

QuoteWe can confirm that a British Embassy vehicle has been attacked in Kabul. A
number of staff have been injured.

We are working with the Afghan authorities to establish details of the
incident.”

07.32 Here is what we know so far:

A suicide bomber struck a British embassy vehicle in Afghanistan’s capital on
Thursday and there are some casualties, a spokesman for the embassy in Kabul
said.

The extent of the casualties was still unclear, officials said.

“I can confirm it was a British vehicle and there are some injuries. We
are working with the Afghan authorities,” said the spokesman, who asked
not to be identified.

The attack is the latest in a wave of bombings to hit Kabul as the majority of
foreign combat troops withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

General Ayoub Salangi, the Afghan deputy interior minister, said the bomber
was riding a motorcycle.

The blast was powerful enough to wound 33 Afghan bystanders and destroy three
cars nearby, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

07.30 Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of the breaking
story of an attack on the British embassy in Kabul.

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