A member of Romania’s diplomatic mission in Kabul has been killed and another seriously wounded in a terrorist attack on the compound where the embassy is located.
A suicide attack claimed by the
Taliban has left some 20 people dead and more than 100 wounded on Monday night
in the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul. The attack came shortly after a
meeting between president Ashraf Ghani and the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to
discuss a draft peace agreement with the Afghan insurgents, an accord that some
of the Taliban do not favour, however.
The victims of the attack include
Romanian nationals, members of Bucharest's diplomatic mission in Kabul. In an
interview to Radio Romania a few hours after the incident, the Romanian foreign
minister Ramona Manescu spoke about the circumstances of the attack:
"Unfortunately, our embassy came
under attack, it was a car bombing, followed by an armed attack that went on
for quite a long time on the Romanian mission in Kabul. The attack continued
and fire was set to several adjacent buildings. Tragically, we lost a member of
the security staff, a man who sacrificed his life to save that of others, a
young man we can only be indebted to and who we must pay the tribute he
Romania is one of the top five
contributor countries to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, deploying over 760
military to this theatre of operations. Romanian troops have taken part in
missions in this country ever since January 2002. Dozens of them have been
killed or wounded since then in attacks, but it is for the first time that the
embassy headquarters have been targeted. Romania's foreign minister Ramona
"It is not the first time that such
an attack has taken place. Of course we have perhaps been spared this so far,
but have seen other cases when civilian sites have been targeted. So it is all
the more important to stay there and stand firmly with our partners in the
fight against terrorism and especially this type of terrorism."
President Klaus Iohannis and prime
minister Viorica Dancila have both condemned the attack most firmly and have
reiterated Romania's support for the fight against terrorism in all its forms.
Almost 200 people have been killed and some 900 wounded in attacks taking place
in Kabul since the beginning of the year. In a joint statement released on
Tuesday, a number of former US ambassadors to Afghanistan have warned of the
risks involved in a hasty pullout of US troops before real peace is achieved.