Suicide blast outside Afghan foreign ministry kills 20, Taliban says

Suicide bombers hit Kabul during peak travel times through the city.

 The family members of Um al-Banin, who was killed in a suicide attack in a tutoring center in Dasht-e-Barchi district in the west of Kabul, pray at her grave in Kabul (photo credit: REUTERS)
The family members of Um al-Banin, who was killed in a suicide attack in a tutoring center in Dasht-e-Barchi district in the west of Kabul, pray at her grave in Kabul
(photo credit: REUTERS)

An suicide bomber who detonated explosives outside the foreign ministry in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Wednesday killed 20 people, according to an information ministry official.

Ustad Fareedun, an official at the Taliban-run information ministry, said the bomber had planned to enter the foreign ministry but failed.

"Twenty people were killed and many others injured in the suicide attack," he said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly blast, the militant group's Amaq news agency said in an affiliated Telegram channel.

Bodies lay outside ministry building

A photo of the area, confirmed by official sources, showed at least nine people wounded or killed, lying outside the ministry as security forces attended to them.

The blast hit at about 4 p.m. local time (1130 GMT), Kabul's police spokesperson Khalid Zadran said. He did not provide details on the number of casualties, saying officials were investigating.

People stand at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)People stand at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 8, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

The Taliban-run administration has faced an insurgency by Islamic State militants who have targeted foreigners at certain sites, 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.

A person in a nearby office, who asked not to be named, described hearing a loud explosion and said they were evacuated from their building.

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