The latest: ISIS-affiliated Deep News outlet claimed that they had conducted a suicide attack near the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul city on Monday.
- ISIS claimed that 20 people, including Taliban foreign ministry diplomats, had been killed and wounded in the aftermath of the attack.
- Some employees of the ministry confirmed the deaths of their two colleagues. The group’s foreign ministry employees allegedly also posted two photos on social media saying that Amanullah Salim, the head of the foreign affairs department of archives, and Asad Amiri, another employee of the ministry, were killed in the attack.
- The Taliban’s Interior Ministry had put the death toll at six. The ministry said that the suicide bomber was killed before reaching the target and the explosives with him detonated.
- ISIS identified Monday’s suicide bomber as Abdul Hamid Khorasani. According to the group, he was able to blow up his ministry after crossing security barriers.
- The attack appears to have been carried out in response to Sunday’s Taliban operation against ISIS in Balkh province.
- In late January of last year, there was also an explosion near the Taliban’s Foreign Ministry, for which too Daesh claimed responsibility. More than 20 people had been killed or injured in that attack as well.
Back story: At least six people had died and many others have been injured after a suicide bomber and his explosives blew up near the Taliban’s foreign ministry in Kabul. This is the second attack near the same ministry this year.
- Three members of the Taliban security forces were among those wounded in the attack.
- Monday’s incident took place around lunchtime, when the city is especially crowded as government office staff leave early for the day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Why it matters? The regional affiliate of the Islamic State group has increased attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021. IS has targeted Taliban officials and patrols, as well as members of the country’s minority Shiites.
- The Islamic State group has also claimed other recent attacks in Kabul, including a bombing near a checkpoint at the city’s military airport that killed and wounded several people and also an assault on a Kabul hotel in mid-December.
- The Taliban administration has said it is focused on securing the country and that it has carried out several raids against suspected ISIS members in recent weeks.
Zoom out: There have been many reactions to the suicide attack. The Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that it was unacceptable to target civilians during their daily activities.
- UNAMA in its statement said that there were reports of high casualties in Monday’s attack, including at least one child. It has offered condolences to the victims and their families.
- The European Union’s mission to Afghanistan issued a tweet saying that a number of innocent people were killed and wounded in the blast. “We condemn all acts of violence. Security must be ensured for all Afghans,” it said.
- Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai also condemned the suicide attack. Karzai called it a terrorist attack and an inhuman betrayal which was against Islamic and human values.