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‘Suicide’ blast outside Afghan foreign ministry in Kabul | News


Police spokesman Khalid Zadran said that the blast in the Afghan capital resulted in casualties.

A suspected suicide bomber has detonated himself outside the foreign ministry in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, with a senior police official saying the blast caused casualties.

The blast hit about 4pm local time (11:30 GMT) on Wednesday, police spokesman Khalid Zadran said, adding that “security teams have reached the area.”

The blast reportedly happened when a Chinese delegation was meeting 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 they were present at the time of the blast,” deputy minister of information and culture Muhajer Farahi told AFP.

A driver with AFP team waiting outside the information ministry next door saw a man with a backpack and rifle slung over his shoulder walk past before the man blew himself up.

“He passed by my car and after a few seconds there was a loud blast,” Jamshed Karimi said.

“I saw the man blowing himself up.”

The broken windowpanes of a building are pictured after the blast near the foreign ministry in Kabul [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

In the aftermath, bodies lay strewn on the road outside the high-walled compound of the ministry, marked with the Taliban flag, a video verified by AFP showed.

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

The foreign ministry itself did not appear to be badly damaged.

Spokespeople for the Taliban-run foreign affairs and interior ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Security situation

The Taliban claims to have improved security since storming back to power in 2021 but there have been scores of bomb blasts and attacks, many claimed by the local chapter of the ISIL (ISIS) group.

At least five Chinese nationals were wounded last month when gunmen stormed a hotel popular with Chinese business people in Kabul.

That raid was claimed by ISIL, who also took responsibility for an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul in December that Islamabad denounced as an “assassination attempt” against their ambassador.

Four people were killed and 25 wounded in an attack on a mosque in the grounds of the interior ministry in Kabul last October.

And two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by the ISIL-affiliate ISKP.

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

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