A suicide blast occurred outside the Taliban-run Foreign Ministry on Wednesday evening in Kabul. Casualty tolls reported from this attack vary. Taliban spokespersons have announced the death toll as 5, while other sources have reported that more than 20 people were killed in the attack. In the latest developments, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State (ISKP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Amaq news agency, a news outlet linked to the Islamic State (IS), issued a newsletter on Wednesday, January 11, claiming responsibility for this attack. By publishing a picture of a masked person, IS has claimed that this attack was carried out by a member of this group, named Khaibar al-Kunduzi.
Taliban officials have announced the death of 5 people in the blast. But more details indicated that at least 21 people were killed and 40 others were injured in a suicide attack last evening in front of the Taliban-run Foreign Ministry.
A photo of the area, gone viral on social media, showed at least nine dead or wounded lying outside the ministry. Photos of the victims published on social media also revealed that at least 10 foreign ministry staffs, who had no affiliation with the Taliban, have been killed in the attack.
The Emergency Hospital also confirmed it had received more than 40 patients following the explosion.
IS stated in its newsletter that the purpose of this attack was to disrupt the meeting of foreign diplomats with the Taliban. According to sources, this explosion occurred just when a delegation of Chinese diplomats was present at the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This attack has been met with mixed reactions.
In a thread on Twitter, UNAMA said that Violence is not part of any solution to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan.
Several countries, including Pakistan and the United Kingdom, condemned the attack.
“The UK rejects such senseless and indiscriminate acts of violence,” said Hugo Shorter, the charge d’affaires for the UK embassy to Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Iranian embassy in Kabul called this event sad, having shared condolences to the families affected by this incident.
Former president, Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the former Supreme National Reconciliation Council, have also called this event “unforgivable crime” and “against Islamic and humanitarian principles” in their messages.
Hours after this attack, the Taliban-led Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a newsletter, calling it the work of enemies of the Islamic regime and promised revenge.
This is the second attack carried out by ISKP elements on diplomatic places in Kabul since January 1, 2023. Previously, ISKP members has attacked several diplomatic missions, including the Russian embassy, the Pakistan embassy, and a resturant frequented by Chinese residence in a commercial area in Kabul.