Deadly “suicide” attack in front of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul | News

DEVELOPING HISTORY,

The Taliban-run Information Ministry official said 20 people were killed in the blast in Kabul, but no comment from the Foreign and Interior Ministry.

At least 20 people have been killed after a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Foreign Ministry in Kabul in the second major bombing in the Afghan capital this year, according to a Taliban official.

Ustad Fareedun, an official with the Taliban-run Information Ministry, told Reuters the suicide bomber planned to enter the Foreign Ministry but failed. He added that at least 20 people were killed and many more injured in the blast.

A photo of the area, confirmed by official sources, showed at least nine injured or killed people lying in front of the ministry as security forces attended to them.

Spokesman for Kabul Police Chief Khalid Zadran said security teams had been deployed to the site. He said at least five people were killed and several injured in the blast.

The blast happened around 4:00 p.m. local time (11:30 GMT) on Wednesday, Zadran said.

Taliban officials from the foreign and interior ministries have yet to comment on the deadly blast.

Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan, Kabul, said the discrepancies in casualty figures are “troubling”.

“We have seen the Taliban do this before. It doesn’t help city security to deny the number of actual casualties. So many questions, few answers,” he told Al Jazeera.

Baheer added that the site of the explosion is in a very high security zone. “There are several checkpoints. You need to have specific documents to access this street,” he said.

The blast reportedly occurred as a Chinese delegation met with the Taliban at the Foreign Ministry.

“There was supposed to be a Chinese delegation at the Foreign Ministry today, but we don’t know if it was there when the explosion happened,” the deputy minister of information and security told AFP. Muhajer Farahi Culture.

A driver from the AFP crew who was waiting outside the Ministry of Information next door saw a man with a backpack and a rifle slung over his shoulder drive past before the man blew himself up.

“He drove past my car and after a few seconds there was a loud explosion,” Jamshed Karimi said.

“I saw the man blow himself up.”

The shattered windows of a building are pictured after a suicide bombing in Kabul
Shattered windows of a building are pictured after the explosion near the Foreign Ministry in Kabul [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Some injured people writhed on the ground, screaming for help, and a handful of onlookers rushed to offer help.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself does not appear to be badly damaged.

Security Status

The Taliban claim to have improved security since returning to power in 2021, but there have been dozens of bombings and attacks, many of which have been claimed by the local branch of the ISIL (ISIS) group.

At least five Chinese nationals were injured last month when gunmen stormed a hotel popular with Chinese businessmen in Kabul.

The raid was claimed by ISIL, which also claimed responsibility for an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul in December, which Islamabad denounced as an “assassination attempt” against its ambassador.

Four people were killed and 25 injured in an attack on a mosque on the grounds of the Interior Ministry in Kabul last October.

And two Russian embassy staff were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by the ISIL-affiliated ISKP (ISIS-K).

Hundreds of people, including members of minority communities in Afghanistan, have been killed and injured in other attacks since the Taliban regained power.

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