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ISIS claims responsibility for deadly suicide attack outside Russian Embassy in Kabul

Russia's Kabul Embassy (Embassy of Russia in Kabul/WikiCommons)
September 06, 2022

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing near the Russian Embassy in Kabul that killed at least six people, including two embassy employees.

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An IS militant “blew up his suicide vest in a gathering attended by Russian employees” near the embassy in the Afghan capital, the group said in a statement on Telegram on September 5.

Four Afghans waiting for consular services were also killed and more than 10 were wounded, Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told RFE/RL.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the attack occurred at 10:50 a.m. Kabul time “in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul.”

The statement did not provide details about the victims, but an earlier report by Russia’s state RIA Novosti news agency said one diplomat and one security officer had been injured.

“There were also Afghan citizens among the wounded,” the ministry statement added.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor said the bomber had been engaged by security forces who were guarding the embassy as he was approaching his purported target.

Zadran told RFE/RL that the bomber was “identified and targeted” by Taliban guards, which “caused the materials attached to his body to explode.”

Police officer Mawlawi Sabir told Reuters the attacker had also been killed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the incident “a terrorist act.” Speaking to journalists in Moscow, he slammed the attack as “absolutely unacceptable.”

Local media showed footage of ambulances rushing to the scene.

An investigation is under way, and the area has been cordoned off by police.

Russia is one of the few countries to keep its Kabul embassy open following the August 2021 takeover of the country by the Taliban. The international community — including Russia — has not recognized the de facto Taliban authorities in Afghanistan.

Taliban militants seized power in the country last year shortly after the U.S.-led international coalition withdrew from the country and the previous government quickly collapsed.