Multiple casualties have been reported, with the blast allegedly targeting the Taliban’s foreign ministry
A blast in the Afghan capital of Kabul killed several people on Wednesday, local media reported. The explosion apparently took place outside the Taliban government’s foreign ministry building, with photos from the scene purportedly showing the street littered with debris and corpses.
A Kabul police spokesman confirmed to Ariana News that the explosion happened outside the foreign ministry and “caused casualties.” The Afghan news agency shared a photo of the apparent aftermath of the attack, in which around ten motionless bodies could be seen strewn on the road outside the fortified walls of the ministry.
Residents of Kabul have reported hearing a loud explosion the city center at about 3:40 pm.
Sources say that the explosion occurred near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but officials have not yet provided details.
Image: Social media pic.twitter.com/Beysbgf6RF
— Ariana News (@ArianaNews_) January 11, 2023
At the time of writing, neither the ministry nor any top-level Taliban officials have commented on the blast. No armed group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, but AFP reported that it was the work of a suicide bomber, and that “around 20 people” were killed.
Reports on social media suggest that Taliban officials may have been meeting with a Chinese delegation at the time of the blast. While those reports are unconfirmed, Taliban and Chinese diplomats met in Kabul last week to sign an oil extraction deal.
The security situation in Kabul has remained precarious since the Taliban returned to power following the withdrawal of the US military in 2021. A deadly explosion took place outside a military airport in the city at the beginning of the month, while a bombing and shooting attack on a hotel in December killed five Chinese nationals and several Afghan military and police personnel.
ISIS-K, a regional offshoot of the Islamic State terror group, claimed responsibility for both assaults, as well as a suicide attack on the Russian embassy in Kabul in September, in which two embassy staff were killed.