NEW YORK - A massive vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), also known as a truck bomb, was intercepted by Afghan security forces near the Pakistan-Afghan border recently, reported ABC News on Wednesday.

The truck driver was allegedly a Pakistani and he set off a grenade in the cab of the truck. When later taken to a hospital, he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself, stated Afghan sources.

The truck bomb was loaded with 61,500 pounds of explosives. In comparison, the truck bomb used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing – in which 168 people were killed – made use of 5,000 pounds of explosives.

The bomb, discovered in Afghanistan on October 14, is ”larger in comparison to some others we have seen,” said Army Colonel Christopher Garver, a spokesperson for the US-led International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Joint Command in Kabul, to ABC News.

Another source from the US Defence Department stated it was the largest truck bomb ever known to be built. Some analysts are skeptical about the estimated weight of the explosives, but still acknowledge that the bomb, also known as the Gardez VBIED, is extraordinarily large.

“We’re talking something with the power to raze whole blocks in an American city,” Andrew Gumbel, author of last year’s Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed - And Why It Still Matters, told ABC News.

“Vehicle-borne IEDs are one of the most significant threats to everyone in Afghanistan, as we have seen over the summer fighting season,” Garver said.

As another point of reference, the TNT truck bomb that destroyed the US Marine compound in Beirut 30 years ago, killing 241 American troops, was about one quarter the size of the Gardez VBIED.


NNI adds: Pakistan has warned that any political vacuum in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international troops in 2014 could prove harmful for the region.

In an interview ‚ the Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that Pakistan‚ on its part will continue to play positive role to push forward the Afghan reconciliation process‚ which is all inclusive. He said Islamabad strongly supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

“We believe that the Afghan people should decide their own fate and no regional country should interfere in Afghan affairs”, he added.

He made it clear that Pakistan has no favourite groups in Afghanistan.

When asked about relations with India‚ the spokesperson said New Delhi has never demonstrated sincerity at the bilateral level to resolve the outstanding issue of Kashmir.

He said Pakistan supports mediation of third party particularly of the UN to resolve this lingering dispute but India is opposed to mediation.