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Deadly terror in Kabul

July 31, 2017 | Expert Insights

A suicide car bomb attack took place in the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The bombing was followed by a gun battle between Afghan forces and three terrorists.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the events that have unfolded.


Landlocked and mountainous, Afghanistan is one of the most unstable nations in the world. Much of its economy and its infrastructure are in ruins and the nation relies heavily on foreign aid. The region is home to multiple terror groups such as ISIS, Taliban, al Qaeda and Daesh.

This chronic instability has forced many citizens to become refugees. The region is plagued by multiple terror attacks. In 2016, 4,561 people were killed by terrorists in Afghanistan. There were 1,340 terrorist attacks that year alone.

The number of terror attacks have continued to rise in the recent years. Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert in the field, testified to the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, & Trade of the House Foreign Affairs Committee noting that there has been a resurgence in terrorism in the country. Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. special envoy in Afghanistan noted in March 2016 that if Afghanistan merely survived 2016, the UN would consider its mission a success.  


In May 31, 2017, Kabul witnessed one of the deadliest attacks the region has ever witnessed. A suicide truck bombing killed 80 and wounded hundreds. In July 2017, 31 people were killed in a Taliban-claimed suicide attack on government workers in Kabul.

US forces have been systematically targeting ISIL in Afghanistan. In April 2017, US military dropped America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb called the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ (MOAB) at an ISIS stronghold in the country. It reportedly killed 94 ISIS fighters. 

The casualty figures for the latest attack have not been released. A bomber blew himself at the gate of the embassy and then three others entered the compound with guns. The ministry then came forward and noted that the siege had been ended successfully. 

This is reportedly the first terror attack to take place in the Embassy. The attack took place just two weeks after a press conference was held within its compounds that declared the defeat of ISIS in Mosul.


Our assessment is that given its significant defeat in Syria and Iraq, ISIS is looking to create as much damage as possible. Freed from having to defend its so-called “Caliphate”, it can go back to conducting individual terror attacks across the world.