Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack targeting the Taliban foreign ministry compound in Kabul on Wednesday.
Reuters reports that ISKP has claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency on Telegram.
The attack, the Taliban confirmed, left 5 dead and a statement by the Emergency Hospital in Kabul said that “We have received more than 40 patients in the hospital, it is difficult to draw up a final number, we are continuing to respond.” Stefano Souza, Emergency’s country director in Afghanistan, said that “This is the first mass casualty [attack] in 2023.”
The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission to Afghanistan, and foreign ministries of Pakistan and Iran have condemned the attack.
Reuters reported that the ISKP has claimed its suicide bombing has killed and wounded scores of people including diplomats.
“Casualty numbers are continuing to rise as the situation unfolds. This was the first mass casualty incident handled by EMERGENCY’s hospital in the capital in 2023,” the Emergency hospital said in a statement
The suicide blast hit employees of the Taliban Ministry of Foreign Affairs while leaving the Ministry’s compound around 04:00 PM on Wednesday. A source from the Ministry confirmed to Kabul Now that more than 20 people, mostly employees of the ministry, were killed or wounded in the attack.
The attack was carried out at a time when a Chinese delegation was set to visit the ministry, the source added.
“Need to know why/how this happened and what measures will be taken to prevent another attack. Afghan citizens and foreign guests alike need be able to count on effective security,” the US Chargé d’Affaires Karen Decker said in a tweet.
Afghanistan has seen a rise in ISKP attacks recently. On 01 January an explosion outside Kabul’s military airport killed at least 14 and wounded 18 people.