“Suicide” blast outside Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul | news

"Suicide" blast outside Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul |  news
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Police spokesman Khalid Zadran said the explosion in the Afghan capital had injured people.

A suspected suicide bomber detonated himself in front of the Foreign Ministry in the Afghan capital Kabul. A senior police official said the blast claimed casualties.

The blast hit around 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 as a Chinese delegation met 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 the AFP team, waiting outside the Ministry of Information next door, saw a man with a backpack and a rifle slung over his shoulder pass before the man blew himself up.

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

“I saw the man blow himself up.”

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

As a result, bodies lay strewn on the street outside the ministry’s high-walled compound, which was marked with the Taliban flag, video verified by AFP showed.

Some of the injured were writhing on the ground screaming for help, and a handful of onlookers rushed over to offer help.

The State Department itself did not appear to be badly damaged.

Spokesmen for the Taliban-led foreign and interior ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

security situation

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

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

This raid was alleged by ISIL, which also claimed responsibility for an attack on the Pakistani 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 premises 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 alleged by ISIL affiliate ISKP (ISIS-K).

Since the Taliban regained power, hundreds of people, including members of Afghan minorities, have been killed and injured in other attacks.

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