The Islamic State– Khorasan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that targeted the main entrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Kabul, which resulted in dozens of casualties.
Kabul blast updates: sources say the blast was as the result of a suicide bombing, the attacker was recognized by forces and blew up his explosives at the gate of MoFA, the bomber was trying to get into the MoFA. pic.twitter.com/3um0euF2Xo
— Esmatullah Kohsar (@EKohsar) January 11, 2023
The blast occurred around 16:00 local time when employees were leaving the building. Local media have also suggested that the attack coincided with a meeting that was taking place between Taliban and Chinese officials, who in recent months have worked to increase investments and economic cooperation, but this remains unconfirmed. An exact death toll remains unclear, as Kabul Police Chief Khalid Zadran initially reported that five people were killed while other Taliban officials said the number of dead could be as high as 20. The Italian NGO EMERGENCY reported that a hospital it runs in the city received 40 patients related to the blast, but did not say how many died, if any. It remains unclear if any foreign diplomats were among the dead or wounded.
After the attack, ISKP claimed responsibility through Amaq-affiliated Telegram channels, where photos of the attacker were released. The terror group said that the bomber targeted guards and employees at the entrance, further claiming 20 people were killed.
— Rahim ?????? (@RahimLaghmani) January 11, 2023
This latest bombing comes amid a string of ISKP attacks targeting key areas of Kabul in recent weeks. Back in December, two ISKP gunmen attempted to assassinate Pakistani chargé d’affaires Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani at the Pakistani Embassy. Later in the month, two ISKP gunmen attacked a hotel in the city regularly used by Chinese nationals and diplomats. An exact casualty count remains unclear, as Taliban and Chinese officials have been accused of trying to cover up its true amount. On January 1, a surviving militant of the hotel attack detonated a suicide vest at a security gate outside the Kabul Airport, leaving over a dozen killed.