Five killed in blast near Afghan foreign ministry, police say

Suicide bomber reportedly detonated an explosive device

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At least five civilians were killed and several others were wounded in a blast near Afghanistan's foreign ministry in the capital Kabul on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.

“An explosion took place today on the road of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a result of which five of our civilians were martyred and a number of others were injured,” Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul security department, tweeted.

The spokesman condemned the attack as “cowardly” and said “the perpetrators will be found and punished for their evil deeds.”

Earlier, Mr Zadran said security forces attended after an attack at 4pm local time near the ministry.

AFP reported that a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in the Afghan capital, causing more than 20 casualties.

A video showed bodies on the road outside the high-walled compound of the ministry, marked with the Taliban flag.

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

The ministry building did not appear to be badly damaged.

“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,” Muhajer Farahi, the deputy minister of information and culture, told AFP.

Former president Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack as “a terrorist act which is against human and Islamic values”.

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

That raid was claimed by ISIS, 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 in October, with survivors reporting that it was a suicide bombing.

And two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by ISIS.

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

Updated: January 11, 2023, 6:30 PM