UN Foreign Worker, 8 Afghan Soldiers Killed in Separate Attacks

More than three dozen people are reported dead in a series of security-related incidents in Afghanistan, including a fatal attack on a U.N. vehicle in the capital, Kabul. Several of the dead were civilians.

Afghan officials said Sunday that Taliban rebels assaulted a security outpost in central Daykundi province overnight, killing eight soldiers and wounding four others.

Senior provincial authorities claimed the ensuing firefight also killed at least 20 assailants, though the Taliban disputed those claims.

Meanwhile, doctors and residents in western Farah province said an Afghan government air strike has killed at least nine civilians and injured several others.

The mainstream local TOLO news channel reported Sunday relatives took to the streets with bodies of the victims to protest and demand an immediate investigation into the deadly incident.

In Kabul, interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said one foreign national was killed and five people were injured by a hand grenade hurled at a U.N. vehicle in the Makrorayan area of the city. The spokesman did not provide details but local news reports suggest the death toll may climb.

The United Nations condemned the attack and confirmed the death of an international employee in the Sunday night attack. It said two other staffers, including a foreigner and an Afghan, were injured.

“No further information about the identity of our international colleague who was killed, nor of those injured, an Afghan and another international colleague, will be released in the immediate future,” said a U.N.statement.

The world body demanded Afghan authorities swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. Both the Taliban and militants linked to the Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group have taken credit for previous attacks in Kabul.

TOLO quoted protesters in Farah province saying the worshipers were leaving a mosque in the Pusht Rod district after offering Saturday evening prayers when the air strike hit them.

Provincial authorities told the media outlet anti-insurgency operations were carried out in Posht Rod and a nearby district, but they would not confirm whether the action caused any civilian casualties.

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the Afghan war. The United Nations has documented around 2,600 Afghan civilian deaths in the first nine months of 2019 while more than 5,600 were injured.