At least six people were killed and more than a dozen injured after a powerful blast ripped through a highly fortified area near the Afghan foreign ministry in downtown Kabul on Monday, local officials said.
The explosion occurred at around 1:00 p.m. local time (0830 GMT) in close proximity to the Afghan foreign ministry complex when a number of ministry employees were present in the area, according to eyewitnesses.
The Emergency NGO’s surgical center in Kabul in a Twitter post earlier said it received 12 people wounded in the blast while two other victims were declared dead on arrival.
It further added that one child was among those wounded in the high-intensity explosion near a prominent trade center in downtown Kabul.
In a statement later, Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said the attacker was identified and targeted by the security forces near the checkpoint before reaching his target, putting the death toll at six.
Among those injured, he hastened to add, were three Taliban soldiers.
د کابل ښار د دوهمې امنيتي حوزې اړوند د ملک اصغر په څلور لارې کې امنيتي چيک پواينټ ته نږدې يو ځانمرګی بریدګر موخې ته تر رسېدو وړاندې د امنيتي ځواکونو له لوري په نښه شو— Khalid Zadran (@khalidzadran01) March 27, 2023
د بريدګر د وژل کېدو په پايله کې هغه سره چاودېدونکي توکو چاودنه هم کړي چې له امله…
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack which comes amid growing economic and security challenges facing the de-facto Taliban government in Kabul and the resurgence of the Daesh terrorist group.
Taliban and Daesh are long-time rivals in the war-torn South Asian country. Since the former staged a comeback in August 2021, overthrowing the US-backed administration, Daesh has scaled up attacks across the country.
Two witnesses were quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday that they heard the sound of a large explosion near the high-security area that is home to many foreign diplomatic missions and Taliban ministries.
One local media report cited an eyewitness as saying that a man was seen running toward the security check post near the foreign ministry before he allegedly detonated his explosives.
The nature of the blast has not been ascertained yet but some reports said it was a suicide bombing.
The capital Kabul and other major Afghan cities have come under several attacks in recent months, most of them claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.
In January, an explosion killed at least five people and injured dozens outside the foreign ministry complex in Kabul as employees were coming out of the building at the end of the working day.
Monday's bombing comes after the Taliban government on Sunday dismissed claims by US officials about the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan.
“The statements of US officials about the number of IS [Daesh] militants in Afghanistan are not true. Daesh militants have already been reduced in ranks and suppressed,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman of the group, said.
There have been reports in the past linking the Daesh terrorist group in Afghanistan to the US military, with many military strategists saying the terrorist group has filled the vacuum created by the US-led allies forces in the country.
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