By Shadi Khan Saif
As condemnations for the Monday's Taliban-claimed suicide car bombing are pouring in, the Afghan authorities revised the death toll to 43 on Tuesday.
A Taliban suicide bomber had rammed a previously captured armored military vehicle into a facility of the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS), in the central Maidan Wardak province on Monday.
Initially, the Ministry of Interior confirmed to Anadolu Agency that 12 security forces were killed and dozens more wounded in the assault.
However, the toll kept jumping up, with some local and international media asserting over 100 security forces were killed in the massive bombing and armed assault that turned the multi-floor complex into rubbles.
Today, the NDS issued a statement, saying 43 security forces were killed in the attack.
In a statement, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, saying such attacks cannot hurt the morale of the Afghan forces determined to eradicate terrorism.
“The terrorist groups and their foreign backers cannot hurt the morale of our champion and brave security and defense forces with such terrorist attacks, we are determined to crush terrorist groups”, Ghani said.
The attack has also been condemned by the U.S and Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan extended condolences to his Afghan counterpart over a suicide car bombing attack on Monday, according to Turkey’s presidential sources.
“I condemn this hateful terrorist attack,” Erdogan told Ghani in a condolences message over the attack in central Afghanistan, the source said, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
“I repeat once again that Turkey is with the friendly and brotherly Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism,” he added.
The U.S Embassy in Kabul on Tuesday dubbed the attack “an assault against Afghanistan’s defenders”.
“The United States will continue to support our Afghan partners to bolster security and achieve an end to the conflict in Afghanistan”, it said in a statement.
Maidan Wardak province is situated less than 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital of Kabul. This is the second suicide car bombing in two days indicating an evident surge in the Taliban’s onslaughts amid the stalled peace process.
On Sunday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a similar car bombing aimed at the convoy of a provincial governor in Logar province that killed at least eight security forces.
* Merve Yildizalp in Ankara contributed to this story