(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Just days after an attack on the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Taliban denied responsibility for the suicide bombing on Friday.
The Red Cross, which is one of the largest and most effective non-government organizations in Afghanistan, had been considered “off-limits.” Because the Red Cross treats Taliban and civilian injuries alike, the Taliban says that their fighters were under orders not to attack Red Cross workers, says the New York Times.
The Taliban made a public statement last year praising the work done by the Red Cross, have instructed their fighters to allow Red Cross vehicles free passage in Taliban territory and have even given escorts to Red Cross workers in Taliban-controlled areas.
According to the New York Times, a Taliban spokesperson said that his organization “wants to clarify to everyone that it was neither behind the May 29th attack on the I.C.R.C. office in Jalalabad city nor does it support such attacks.”
It is not common to see the Taliban deny responsibility for an attack in this way, which raises additional questions. Not the least of those questions is who, if not the Taliban, was behind last week’s attack and why they have not claimed responsibility.
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Madison Park and Steve Almasy, CNN
Angela Dewan, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN