ISIS Bombing In Kabul Kills 8 Civilians, Injures 3 US Service Members

AP Photos/Massoud Hossaini

A suicide car bomb struck a NATO convoy in the Afghan capital on May 3, killing eight civilians and wounding three U.S. service members, Reuters reports.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released by its media arm, Amaq News Agency.

The attack occurred during morning rush hour in one of the busiest areas of Kabul. In its statement, the Islamic State said that a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as the convoy passed near the U.S. embassy.

While the blast inflicted only minor damage on the NATO MRAPs, it left scores of civilian vehicles destroyed and badly damaged. Public health officials told Reuters that 25 civilians were also injured in the attack.

The bombing is latest in a string of high-profile suicide attacks in Kabul that have been claimed by the Islamic State, whose local branch is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan and is known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K.    

ISIS-K is estimated to number fewer than 1,000 fighters, according to Stars and Stripes. Last month, at least 94 fighters were killed in a single blow when the U.S. Air Force dropped a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.  

The U.S. military is determined to eliminate ISIS-K by the end of the year.

“We have a very good chance of destroying them in 2017, making it very clear that when ISIS fighters are destroyed elsewhere around the globe that this is not the place for you to come to plot your attacks,” Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, told Agence France-Presse.

Beleaguered Afghan forces have ceded huge swaths of the country to insurgents since NATO ended combat operations in Afghanistan in late 2014. The U.S. is now considering sending more troops there to bolster the more than 8,000 who are currently on the ground.

“In recent days some have rejected violence and recognized that the only future for Afghanistan is through constructive dialogue and peace,” Ambassador Hugo Llorens, special charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said in a statement.

Llorens added: “The barbarity and depravity of this attack only reminds all Americans of why we are in this fight and strengthens our solidarity with our Afghan allies.”

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less