Terrorist Attacks in Kabul: People Doubt the Taliban’s Capabilities

The city of Kabul has witnessed an increase in explosions in recent months. Although people expected to see no more explosions under Taliban rule, this has increased contrary to expectations. However, residents of Kabul are deeply concerned about the escalation of the bombings, saying that the security forces of the Taliban-led government are not successful in securing the people. According to them, in the last one month alone, there have been at least four explosions in Kabul, especially in the west of the city, which have resulted in casualties. The Islamic State in Khurasan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks. We wanted to have the Taliban’s views on this, but our repeated calls went unanswered.

Explosions are not new in Kabul. During the previous government, this city has witnessed countless suicide attacks. However, as the Taliban took control of Kabul, the least they expected was to secure and prevent suicide bombings. This expectation, however, has not been met, and people are now witnessing an increase in explosions. In the most recent case, two attacks occurred in Kabul on Wednesday. The blasts killed at least five people and injured nearly ten others. People are calling on the security forces of the Taliban-led government to pay attention to the civilians’ security.

Elias is a resident of Kabul. He says the Taliban appear to be facing a challenge. According to him, this test is how to ensure the security of the citizens. According to Elias, the current situation and the explosions that have taken place in recent days show that the Taliban security forces have “failed” to fulfill their commitments. “The Taliban’s military units are not capable of providing security,” he said. “More than three months have passed since they came to power. Major security incidents have taken place in Kabul and some provinces, killing hundreds of civilians and innocent people.”

Elias states that in the first days of their arrival in Kabul, the Taliban claimed that the war was over and that the people would live in safety; however, this promise did not come true. Criticizing the Taliban-led government, he said they had no practical plan to prevent the bombings. He believes that if this situation continues, people will have to act on their own to ensure their security. However, Elias adds that in this case, the Taliban will also be questioned.

Rahmatullah, another resident of Kabul, expressed concern about an increase in bombing attacks, saying the Taliban had so far failed to contain them. However, he attributed this to the inexperience and lack of professional knowledge of the Taliban. According to him, terrorist groups use this vacuum and bring explosives into the city easily. The Kabul resident criticizes the continuation of such a situation, calling on the Taliban to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to ensure the security of Kabul’s citizens. Rahmatullah adds that people cannot easily navigate the city these days.

“It has been a strange time,” Rahmatullah told Hasht-e Subh. “Now we do not feel safe in city cars, and when we leave the house, we do not have hope to return alive. This situation is worrying. All victims are civilians.”

We wanted to know about the plans of the Ministry of Interior of the Taliban-led government to ensure the security of Kabul city, but we did not receive a response through repeated calls. The ISKP is responsible for most of the attacks in Kabul and other cities. The Taliban have not taken the threat seriously so far, saying the group has no physical presence in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has expressed concern about the growing insecurity and targeted attacks by ISIS in Afghanistan. Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, says the ISKP attacks in the country have increased more this year than in the past. In a speech to the UN Security Council, she acknowledged that the reason for the rise of ISKP was the inability of the Taliban to prevent the group from expanding. According to Ms. Lyons, the ISKP was once limited to a few provinces, but it now appears to be present in almost all provinces and is increasingly active.

The UN Special Representative for Afghanistan notes that the ISKP had about 60 attacks in Afghanistan in 2020, but that number has risen to 345 this year. Deborah Lyons states that the Khorasan branch of ISIL continues to target the “Shiite community.” He criticized the Taliban, adding that their activities against the ISKP were limited to “illegal detentions and killings of suspects.” According to him, since the Taliban came to power, the ISKP has carried out explosive, armed, and targeted attacks in Afghanistan.