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Two Russian diplomats among many killed in Kabul explosion

A ruling-Taliban fighter stands guard outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 5, 2022. (Courtesy of The Dawn)

A powerful explosion outside the Russian embassy in west Kabul's Darulaman neighborhood has killed more than a dozen people, including two employees of the embassy, reports said on Monday.

The Russian foreign ministry in a statement confirmed that two employees of the embassy were killed in Monday's blast. 

"On September 5, at 10:50 a.m. Kabul time, an unknown militant detonated an explosive device in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul," the ministry said.

"As a result of the attack, two employees of the diplomatic mission were killed, and there are also victims among Afghan citizens."

Local media reports said Afghan security forces had cordoned off the area pending an investigation into the explosion.

Earlier, Kabul Police said a suicide bomber detonated explosives near the entrance of the Russian embassy in Kabul, adding that the attacker was shot dead by armed guards as he approached the gate of the consular section.

"The suicide attacker before reaching the target was recognized and shot by Russian embassy (Taliban) guards... there is no information about casualties yet," Mawlawi Sabir, the head of the police district where the attack took place, told Reuters.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack so far. However, the Daesh terrorist organization has carried out a series of explosions in the Afghan capital in recent months. 

On Friday, an explosion outside a mosque in Afghanistan killed a high-profile pro-Taliban cleric and a number of civilians.

The war-ravaged country has been grappling with growing insecurity amid the resurgence of the Daesh terrorist group since last year.

The minority Shia community in Afghanistan has been targeted by the terrorist group on multiple occasions in recent years, a trend that has assumed alarming proportions since the Taliban's takeover in August last year.

The Hazara community, the most impoverished of the country’s ethnic groups, accounts for about 22 percent of the country’s population.

Daesh has a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar, which is regarded as its stronghold in the war-torn country. 

The Taliban regularly raid suspected Daesh hideouts, with group officials insisting that their forces have defeated Daesh, but analysts say the terrorist group is still operating across the country.

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