BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Carnage in central Kabul
Kabul devastation
The second bomb is believed to have been in a taxi
Just hours before the assassination attempt on President Karzai, a powerful car bomb went off in the centre of the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least 15 people, including a number of police officers.

Shoppers were milling around the busy central business district of Kabul when the first bomb exploded.

Witnesses drawn out into the street by the commotion say there was then a second, larger explosion in a taxi.

Dead and injured lay in the street along with the debris and two overturned vehicles.


I could hear wounded people through the smoke shouting and calling for help

Kabul eyewitness

Thousands fled the scene fearing there were more bombs.

Trader Haji Abdul Aroof, who has an office in the market opposite the cultural ministry, said he heard the blast and went to see what had happened.

"When I came down to see if people had been injured, another explosion happened in a taxi," he said.

"I was scared, I don't know how many people were killed or injured."

Hospital full

Wounded men and women, bloodied and blackened by the blast, wandered among the shattered glass, pieces of clothing and human remains.

A construction worker, who was not named, said there was chaos after the explosions.

Injured policeman
Witnesses said the emergency hospital was filled with the wounded
"When I came to the scene, I saw five dead bodies," he said.

"People were running away in shock. There were lots and lots of people. I could hear wounded people through the smoke shouting and calling for help."

Ali Ahmad, a BBC translator in Kabul, said the emergency hospital was full of those injured in the blast.

"The soldiers who are standing in front of the hospital do not let them bring the injured people, so they had to take the injured men to another hospital," he said.

Big crowd

One of the injured women asked him: "What do they want from me?

"I'm just a widow and my orphan son is inside the hospital and he's injured and I'm also injured.

Injured policeman
The centre of Kabul was busy with shoppers and local police
"My thigh, my leg as well as my back has been injured. I didn't get injured in the first explosion but I got injured in the second explosion.

"My guest with his two children are lost, I don't know where are they and I'm looking for them."

Another of the wounded, Fakir Mohammed, said:

"We were sitting with our friends near our shop in Taimoor Shahi, then two, three explosions happened in a row, two people fell down to the ground.

"There was a big crowd, we rushed to the scene, but the police did not allow us to get close."

Main suspects

Witnesses said the car bomb exploded in front of a building containing shops selling televisions and satellite dishes - all forbidden during hardline Taleban rule.

People at the scene already seemed sure the attacks could be the work of the ousted Taleban regime, Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda or former Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Hekmatyar issued a call for jihad, or holy war, this week to drive US and foreign troops including international peacekeepers from Afghanistan.

Another witness, who had watched the scene from a rooftop near the central money market, said only the three suspected organisations could carry out such attacks.

"It is the procedure of al-Qaeda, the Taleban or Hekmatyar to defame or malign the government or the ISAF troops in Afghanistan," he told the BBC.

"But all people saw that their action here is against the local people in the most crowded area of Kabul where most people are gathering here for shopping."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jane Bennett-Powell
"The intended target isn't clear"
The BBC's Kylie Morris
"Local officials believe there are more than 10 dead"

Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

05 Sep 02 | South Asia
03 Sep 02 | South Asia
30 Aug 02 | September 11 one year on
07 Jul 02 | Country profiles
Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes