Morning started off the usual. While at work, one of the Canadian girls said there was a bomb attack. Strange! We hadn’t heard anything! Hubby Skyped me a few minutes later saying there was a suicide bomb attack just outside the Millie Bank. The Millie Bank is only a few buildings away from the Serena Hotel. But clearly, the target was Millie Bank. The same place my brother in law, F, works.
The Taliban stormed the bank, commando style, firing. News reports say that the Taliban stole armored vehicles, one of which was filled with explosives and detonated this morning. Soon after, the Taliban stormed the compound. Thankfully my brother in law was on the other side of the bank at the time.
The Afghan National Army arrived and managed to secure the bank staff in the basement while they fired back at the Taliban.
Gunshots were also heard from Serena.
At work, it was business as usual despite the occasional outburst of breaking news from one of the people in the office. We had a meeting in the glass room – it literally is a glass room and I must say one of the most unwise moves of the year. If there was a bomb blast in the area close by, we are all goners!
That moment a bomb hit. Our office shook. Khair. I thought about the dead and injured lying there. My stomach churned.
One of the guys at the meeting joked ‘amee ootaaq besyaar sheeshayee nest?’
My mind kept wandering back at the possible scene that is out there. Body parts, how will families be able to tell their loved ones? Images flashed on TV, live.
I left the meeting room. I needed to walk it off.
I called mum to let her know that crazies are happening but we’re fine. Alhamdullilah.
A few minutes later my colleagues joined me in the room, we decided we should go down to the basement. We went to the conference room, tuned into BBC and there it was!
In front of Millie Bank, the skeleton of what was a car with the suicide bomber now in pieces. His legs chopped off, in the air. Undignified death!
That street is unusually busy, but now it was deserted. Cameramen along the sides of the road crouching down to avoid being shot, trying to get footage. I noticed a female Afghan photographer, good on her!
We had two televisions on. One tuned into the local Tolo station and the other tuned into BBC. We had a short security briefing – not that it could do much.
And back to work it was with reports flooding my inbox about the crazy happenings still going on.
I was in continuous contact with my brother in law to make sure he was alright. He was. Relief.
The phone lines were terrible, they usually cut it off to avoid further mobile phone bombings.
The fighting continues, occasional gunshots are being heard.
More to come…
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