Suicide blast kills at least five outside Afghan foreign ministry

January 11, 2023

Blast takes place at a busy time of day in a heavily fortified area surrounded by checkpoints

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Smoke billows out of the building where a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up on January 11, 2023. — Twitter/MuslimahAqsa

KABUL: A suicide bomber killed at least five people outside the Afghan foreign ministry on Wednesday, police said, but some officials put the death toll higher.

Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran said the official confirmed death toll was five. Ustad Fareedun, an official at the Taliban-run information ministry, said 20 people were killed.

He said the bomber had planned to enter the foreign ministry but failed.

A photo of the area, confirmed by official sources, showed at least nine dead or wounded lying outside the ministry.

The blast hit at about 4pm (1130 GMT), Zadran said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility. The Taliban-run administration has faced an insurgency by Daesh militants who have targeted foreigners, including the Russian and Pakistani embassies and a hotel catering to Chinese businessmen.

The blast took place at a busy time of day in a heavily fortified area surrounded by checkpoints on a street housing several ministries.

Some countries, including Turkey and China, have embassies in the area.

No country has recognised the Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021 with a speed and ease that took the world by surprise, following which President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and his government collapsed

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