(ABC News) — In one of the most deadly insurgent attacks here this year, a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives on a main thoroughfare leading to Kabul’s airport, killing at least 13 people.
Most of the victims were South Africans, packed into a minivan on their way to work at the airport. The suicide bomber rammed into the minivan, creating a huge explosion whose shockwaves were felt in many parts of the city, according to eyewitnesses.
“The explosion was so powerful and loud that I could not hear anything for 10 minutes,” Abdullah Shah, a teacher who witnessed the attack, told The Associated Press.
A number of innocent bystanders were also hurt in the blast. The blast was so strong it sent the minivan flying at least 160 feet from its original location, according to police officials.
A militant group called Hezb-i-Islami (Party of Islam) claimed responsibility for the blast, calling it revenge for the offensive anti-Islam movie produced in the United States by a group of individuals with checkered pasts. The movie has set off a wave of deadly riots in many parts of the Muslim world, including Afghanistan, where hundreds of protesters have thrown rocks at police and set vehicles on fire.
Hezb-i-Islami, one of many insurgent groups operating in Afghanistan, says a 22-year-old female named Fatima carried out the attack. If true, it would be the first time ever that a female suicide bomber has driven a car bomb for an attack in Kabul.