Afghan authorities in Kabul are increasing security in the area of the capital that houses foreign embassies and government offices after a series of attacks killed hundreds of people in the city and across the country.
Salem Ehsaas, the acting police chief of Kabul, told the Reuters news agency on August 6 that "our priority is the diplomatic area" in the new security plan for the center of the city.
"The highest threat level is in this area, and so we need to provide better security here," he said.
United Nations figures show that 209 civilians have been killed and 777 injured in suicide and other attacks, mostly blamed on the Taliban, in the first half of the year in the Afghan capital.
Among the larger attacks, a massive truck bomb blast in Kabul’s diplomatic sector on May 31 killed about 150 people and wounded around 400 others, mostly civilians.
On July 24, a Taliban suicide car bomb killed at least 26 people and wounded 41 others in the western part of the city.
Outside of the capital, up to 50 people, including women and children, were killed after Taliban militants seized control of a village in the Sayad district of the northern province of Sari Pu on August 5.
Underscoring concerns in the capital, Afghan intelligence officials said on August 6 that they had seized a truck in Kabul carrying more than 16 tons of explosives hidden in boxes marked as poultry feed.
"It was loaded with explosives to make bombs, suicide vests. and conduct terrorist activities in Kabul," the National Directorate of Security said.
The new security measures will include 27 permanent checkpoints along 42 roads through the diplomatic zone.
They will be supported by mobile explosives scanners, sniffer dogs, and security cameras.
Trucks arriving in the city will be checked by scanners at four of the eight main entry points. The other four sites will get scanners at a later date, officials said.
Officials estimated that the measures will be fully in place within six months.