Five dead in attack near Foreign Ministry

Bin a suicide attack near the Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul According to police, at least five people were killed and dozens injured on Wednesday. The Italian non-governmental organization Emergency NGO said that more than 40 injured people had been admitted to the hospital it runs in Kabul. The number of victims continued to rise to such an extent that beds were also set up in the hospital’s kitchen and canteen, the organization said.

Police spokesman Khalid Sadran confirmed an explosion “on the road to the Foreign Ministry”. “Five civilians were killed and a number of others injured,” he said. “The Islamic Emirate condemns such an attack. The perpetrators of this act will be found and punished,” Sadran added. Afghan media reported far higher casualties, citing foreign ministry sources as saying 20 people died and 26 were injured.

The so-called Islamic State recently claimed responsibility for the crime via Twitter. Just ten days ago, several people were injured and killed in an attack claimed by the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) in front of the military airport in Kabul. Those ruling in Afghanistan Taliban claim to have improved security in the country since returning to power in August 2021. However, since then there have been a large number of bomb blasts and attacks. The local offshoot of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist militia claimed responsibility for most of them.

A member of the Taliban security forces guards a blocked street after a suicide attack near the Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul's Zanbaq Square January 11, 2023.

A member of the Taliban security forces guards a blocked street after a suicide attack near the Afghan Foreign Ministry in Kabul’s Zanbaq Square January 11, 2023.

Image: AFP

A team from the AFP news agency was conducting an interview at the neighboring Ministry of Information at the time of the attack. Driver Jamshed Karimi was waiting in the car when he saw a man with a backpack and a Kalashnikov rifle slung over his shoulder. “He passed my car and after a few seconds there was a loud explosion,” Karimi said. He saw a man “blow himself up”.

Pictures from the scene showed bodies lying in the snow on the street in front of the building in the center of the capital. A photo released by the authorities showed at least nine dead or injured on the ground in front of the ministry. The State Department building did not appear to be badly damaged.

Chinese visit expected

“A suicide bomber attempted to enter the ministry but failed in his objective and was spotted by security forces and blew himself up,” wrote Deputy Director-General for Public and Strategic Affairs Ahmadullah Muttaki.

According to Deputy Information Minister Muhajer Farahi, a Chinese delegation was scheduled to visit the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. “We don’t know if they were there at the time of the explosion,” he told AFP. According to Muttaki, there were no foreigners in the ministry at the time of the attack. On December 12, IS fighters carried out an attack on a hotel in Kabul frequented by Chinese. Several people died as a result. At least five Chinese were injured.

Neighboring China is one of the few countries to maintain diplomatic ties with those in power Afghanistan maintain. Beijing has not officially recognized the Taliban government. However, after the Taliban moved into Kabul on August 15, 2021, China said it was ready for “friendly and cooperative” relations.

Beijing has long feared that Afghanistan would become a catchment area for the Uyghur Muslim minority from the neighboring Chinese conflict region of Xinjiang. In exchange for the Taliban’s promises that their country will not serve as a base for Uyghur fighters, Beijing has offered economic support and investment in the country’s reconstruction.

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