At least five people were killed in an explosion near the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, according to police in Kabul, in the latest sign of the deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital.
“Five civilians were martyred and several others injured,” Khaled Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul police, wrote on Twitter, adding that the perpetrators would be found and punished.
Zadran said the blast occurred in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, Zanbaq Square, around 4 p.m. local time. Many countries, including Turkey, India and China, have embassies in the region.
Zadran did not mention the number of wounded, although the Humanitarian Emergency Organization He said Its surgical center in Kabul had received more than 40 patients following the blast.
“This is the first mass casualty of 2023, but it is certainly one of those with the highest number of patients since the beginning of 2022. So much so that we also set up beds in the kitchens and the canteen,” said Stefano Souza, director of emergencies in Afghanistan. statment.
The local branch of the Islamic State (ISIS-Khorasan) claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it described as a suicide bombing.
The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency said, without providing evidence, that the attack killed 20 people after an ISIS fighter detonated an explosive belt among a crowd of workers near the main gate of the ministry. CNN cannot independently verify the claim.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan condemned the attack, which took place in a statment Wednesday.
“Increasing insecurity is a source of grave concern. Violence is not part of any solution to achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan,” he wrote on Twitter.
Since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021, there have been several attacks in Kabul that have claimed dozens of lives.
In September last year, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, mostly young women, at an education center in Kabul.
Earlier that month, six people, including two Russian embassy employees, were killed in a suicide bombing near the Russian embassy.
In August, an explosion in a mosque during evening prayers killed 21 people and injured 33 others.