KABUL, Afghanistan – Flames are everywhere in Arghandi area, as hundreds of oil tankers were burned down on the outskirts of Afghan capital city Kabul on Friday night.
Reports said that the incident inflicted damages worth millions of dollars to the country’s oil industry. Taliban militants, a group fighting the government to regain power in the conflict-ridden country, immediately have claimed responsibility for the attack.
On a report by Xinhua, an oil tanker driver named Tawab Khan narrated what occurred, saying, “It was 11:00 p.m. Friday night when three rockets hit the parking lot in Arghandi area on the outskirts of Kabul city burning several oil tankers.”
“Two of my own oil tankers have burned to ashes and I have lost whatever I had in my life,” Khan also added.
According to Khan, there were around 900 oil tankers and oil trucks parked in the area at the time when the attack happened. He also sadly shared that only some 200 oil tankers and trucks had been rescued by their drivers, and the remaining were all burned.
Another disappointed driver who was crying and has declined to be named said his oil tanker was devoured in the fire because of the attack.
After long hours of fighting the fire, fire brigade fighters were able to extinguish the fire at 6 am, Kabul time on Saturday.
The Interior Ministry released a statement confirming the incident; saying that preliminary reports by police showed that around 200 oil tankers caught fire on Friday night in Arghandi area of Paghman district, 20 km west of Kabul.
However, recent reports said that about 400 oil tankers and trucks were burned; as reported by The News and The Independent.
Investigation is still on going in order to determine the reason for the fire and the cost of the losses incurred.
Meanwhile, immediately after the incident made news, the Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack on oil tankers.
“Taliban first entered the parking lot and after placing sticky mines on some oil tankers, detonated them, which caused a wild fire devouring at least 600 vehicles including oil tankers,” a statement posted on Taliban website reads, adding that the attack is a tactical offensive one.
Citing Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the statement also claimed that within several hours of fire, dozens of Afghan and foreign soldiers had lost their lives.