President Zuma sends condolences to Kabul victims' families

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the families of the eight South African citizens killed when a suicide bomber blew herself up in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday.

"On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma wishes to express his heartfelt and sincere condolences to the families, friends and communities of the eight South Africans who were victims of a suicide attack," said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

A suicide bomber reportedly rammed her explosive-laden vehicle into a minibus carrying foreign staff of a local company on Tuesday morning, killing eight foreigners and a local driver.

Three passers-by were also killed and two security officials were injured by the bombing that took place along the main road, leading to the airport in Kabul's sub-district 15.

"I am deeply saddened by the deaths of the South Africans, as well as the other lives that were lost during this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased," said the President.

Dirco said the incident happened at around 4am and that it was in possession of the list of names of the deceased with efforts to confirm their identities as well as to contact the deceased's next-of-kin being underway.

"Government efforts to confirm their identities and to contact their next-of-kin are continuing, and families are receiving support through the consular," said Dirco.

Meanwhile, Afghan National Police (ANP), supported by Afghan army and NATO-led coalition forces, have eliminated 18 Taliban militants in different provinces within the past 24 hours, that country's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Two more armed Taliban insurgents were wounded and 15 militants were detained in 12 joint clean-up operations launched in Kabul, Baghlan, Balkh, Zabul, Logar, Khost, Farah and Helmand provinces," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.

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