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Afghanistan Mourns More Than 100 Dead After Kabul Bombing


Afghan security forces inspect at the site of a deadly suicide attack in the center of Kabul on January 27.

Afghanistan's government has declared a day of mourning for January 28, after a bomb attack claimed by the Taliban in the capital killed more than 100 people.

Under presidential orders, the Afghan flag is to fly at half-mast across the country and at diplomatic missions abroad, as funerals of the victims take place.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Wais Barmak said that the number of people killed in the massive suicide car bombing in a crowded area in central Kabul in the early afternoon of January 27 had risen to 103. Officials had earlier put the number at 95.

He said that 235 other people were wounded, including more than 30 police officers.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, claimed that the militant group was behind the attack, one of the biggest blasts to hit the war-torn city in recent years.

Officials said the attacker used an ambulance to pass through the checkpoints and reach Sadarat Square, near many government buildings, foreign embassies, and shops.

Eyewitnesses say that buildings hundreds of meters away were shaken by the force of the explosion.‚Äč

U.S. President Donald Trump called for "decisive action" by all countries against the Taliban, saying in a statement on January 27, "This murderous attack renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners."

"Now, all countries should take decisive action against the Taliban and the terrorist infrastructure that supports them," he added. "The Taliban's cruelty will not prevail."

Trump said the "United States is committed to a secure Afghanistan that is free from terrorists who would target Americans, our allies, and anyone who does not share their wicked ideology."

Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, "unequivocally" condemned the attack.

"Today's attack is nothing short of an atrocity, and those who have organized and enabled it must be brought to justice and held to account," Yamamoto said in a statement.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the use of an ambulance was "harrowing."

"This could amount to perfidy under [International humanitarian law]. Unacceptable and unjustifiable," it said in a message on Twitter.

In the French capital, the Eiffel Tower turned off its lights on the night of January 27 to mourn the dead.

"The city of Paris and Parisians are with the Afghan people who are once again facing terrorist barbarity," Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter.

The attack comes a week after an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in the city that killed at least 25 people.

Afghan government forces have struggled to fight the Taliban and other militant groups since U.S. and NATO troops formally ended their combat mission in 2014.

Trump has committed to stepping up the U.S. military's engagement in Afghanistan, pledging thousands more U.S. troops without setting deadlines.

Trump has said he wanted to shift from a time-based approach in Afghanistan to one based on conditions on the ground.

With reporting by dpa, AFP, Tolonews.com, Reuters, and AP

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