Family pays tribute to Huddersfield man killed by Taliban bomb in Kabul

Michael Hampshire has been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Afghanistan. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Michael Hampshire has been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Afghanistan. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

A family has paid tribute to a Huddersfield man killed by a Taliban bomb in Kabul.

Michael Hampshire, from Golcar, Huddersfield, died when a Taliban suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car near the international airport in the capital, Kabul, killing at least two other people and wounding 18.

And his family today paid tribute to a “loving fiancé, son, grandson, brother, uncle, cousin and a friend”.

A statement released on behalf of Mr Hampshire’s family read: “Michael was a loving fiancé, son, grandson, brother, uncle, cousin and a friend to everyone who knew him.

“No words can explain what we are going through at this time and we will miss Michael dearly.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank people for the messages we have received but would now like, as a family, to grieve for Michael in peace.”

Mr Hampshire, known as Mic, was travelling in a European Union police (EUPOL) had lived in Huddersfield all his life and was engaged to fiancée Claire Taylor since November last year, it is believed.

His father, Martin, said he had been asked by the police not to speak at this time.

The other two fatalities have been confirmed as Afghan national women.

A spokeswoman for EUPOL, Sari Haukka-Konu, said that one ‘non-mission member’ who was travelling in a EUPOL vehicle had been killed.

The Foreign Office said: “We can confirm that a British national was tragically killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul this morning. We stand ready to provide consular assistance to the family.”

The incident comes just days after another Briton, who held joint Afghan nationality, was killed in an attack by the Taliban on a guest house in Kabul which left 14 people dead.

He was working for the British Council in the country when he was killed.

The attack this morning appears to have targeted vehicles of the European Union police training mission.

The car bomb was detonated near the office of the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority, which is a few hundred metres from the airport terminal.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.

A spokeswoman for EUPOL, Sari Haukka-Konu, said that one non-mission member who was travelling in an EUPOL vehicle had been killed. She had no details on the nationality or identity of the deceased.

“All mission members who were in the vehicle are in a safe place and their injuries are not believed to be fatal,” she said. “A non-EUPOL person inside the vehicle is deceased.”

Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said two Afghan women were killed in the blast. He described them as “passers-by”.

Of the 18 wounded, he said eight were women and three were children. He said three foreigners had been wounded. EUPOL’s website said three of its personnel had sustained non-fatal injuries.

Nearby homes and shops were damaged, and the road - choked with traffic throughout the day as vehicles pass through a slow-moving checkpoint into the airport - was strewn with the charred remains of a number of cars.

One foreign vehicle and two civilian vehicles were damaged in the blast.

Ms Haukka-Konu said two of the mission’s cars were moving in convoy “but only one was involved in the blast”.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, who have waged war in Afghanistan for more than a decade, launched their warm weather offensive in late April.

The insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kabul guesthouse last week that left 14 people dead, including nine foreigners.

Among the dead in the last week’s bomb attack were a Briton and a scientist who lectured at an English university.

Paula Kantor, 46, an expert on gender and development issues, was in Afghanistan working on a project to help improve the livelihoods of local people when gunmen stormed the Park Palace Hotel in the Afghan capital on Wednesday.

A British man who held joint Afghan nationality and was working for the British Council was killed alongside Ms Kantor, an American.

Earlier, a magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle exploded in the eastern suburbs of Kabul, wounding one person, Mr Sediqqi said. And late yesterday, an explosion inside the campus of Kabul University wounded two people, he added.