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At Least 20 Casualties Feared in Suicide Blast Near Taliban’s Foreign Ministry in Kabul

Guess what? A massive blast took place in Kabul once again on Wednesday in which several people are feared dead and injured. The blast took place outside the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Afghanistan’s capital city, which has witnessed several such incidents over the past few months.

Let’s deep dive into the developments:

  • A suicide bomber detonated a device, causing more than 20 casualties, according to AFP.
  • “I saw about 20-25 victims. I don’t know how many of them were dead or injured,” AFP driver Jamshed Karimi said, adding: “I saw the man blow himself up.”
  • “He passed by my car and after a few seconds there was a loud bang,” he added.
  • According to Russian news agency Sputnik, explosion and gunfire too was heard right outside the foreign ministry’s gates.
  • Spokespeople for the Taliban-run foreign affairs and interior ministries did not immediately comment on it. However, a spokesman for the Kabul security department, Khalid Zadran, in a tweet confirmed that the blast near the foreign ministry caused casualties. Zadran added that the security forces have arrived at the scene.
  • According to reports in the local media, an ambulance has been rushed to the spot.
  • Sources added that a meeting was underway between the Taliban and Chinese officials at the time of the blast.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban is in proximity to the presidential palace of Afghanistan from where the Taliban prime minister operates.
  • Jagoda Grondecka, a freelance Polish journalist based in Kabul, posted on Twitter: “The explosion in front of the Foreign Ministry occurred exactly when employees were leaving their offices. The Taliban have closed one of the main streets leading to the Emergency Hospital.”
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Back story: On January 4, an explosion had taken place at a military airport in Kabul, according to Nafi Takor, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Interior Ministry. At least 10 people were killed and eight were injured in the incident. Takor was quoted as saying by Sputnik, “This morning, there was an explosion at the Kabul military airport, due to which a number of our citizens were martyred and injured.”

  • Last month, ISIS also attacked a hotel frequented by Chinese citizens in Kabul, injuring 18 people, while all three attackers were killed.
  • On December 2, 2022, the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul was attacked by Daesh militants, who targeted Chargé d’Affaires (CdA) to Afghanistan Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani. The diplomat was unharmed, but his guard was critically wounded in the attack.
  • The ISIS group also claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed two Russian diplomats in September 2022.

Zoom out: The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, has stepped up its attacks since the Taliban takeover in 2021. They have targeted both Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority.

  • The Taliban have intensified their operations against the IS in Afghanistan, after the latter carried out a series of attacks across the country in recent months.
  • However, ISIS targets are now more high-profile including country embassies and areas under high security.
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