South Africans killed in attack on Kabul compound

Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. (AFP)

Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. (AFP)

A Taliban attack on a foreign compound in Kabul on Saturday killed a South African father, son and daughter, police said, without giving further details about their age or identity.

“Four people, including three foreign nationals – the head of a foreign organisation, his son and his daughter – and one Afghan were killed in yesterday’s attack,” General Zahir Zahir, Kabul police chief, told reporters, adding they were from South Africa.

Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD), a small US-based education aid group, posted a message on its website, saying three of its staff had been killed in the attack.

“The attack… by multiple gunmen included one who detonated a personal explosive device killing three and injuring other staff members,” the website said.

“In the midst of this unprovoked attack, Partnership in Academics and Development remains committed to providing educational resources for Afghan citizens as they become part of the international community.”

Police chief Zahir said the organisation’s local head, his son and his daughter were all killed.

“The attackers first shot dead the director as they entered the building,” Zahir said at a press conference, giving no further details about the victims’ ages.

Police chief resigned
Zahir resigned later Sunday after the Afghan capital was hit by at least nine militant attacks in the last two weeks with foreign compounds, embassy vehicles and US troops among those targeted.

Zahir said the head of a foreign organisation, his son and his daughter were all killed, but the identity of the organisation was still not confirmed.

“The attackers first shot dead the director as they entered the building,” Zahir said at a press conference, giving no further details.

After the event, Kabul police spokesperson Hashmat Stanakzai said that Zahir had resigned. “General Zahir Zahir told the interior ministry he no longer wanted to continue his job. The minister has accepted his resignation,” said Stanakzai.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed on Twitter that the compound hit on Saturday was that of a secret Christian missionary group and that a meeting of Australian visitors had been hit.

The US-led NATO combat mission in Afghanistan will end on December 31 and be replaced by a follow-on mission supporting the Afghan army and police, who have taken over responsibility for thwarting the Taliban.

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