Suicide bomber kills 6 people near foreign ministry in Kabul
An ambulance transports the injured from the explosion site near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the hospital, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 27, 2023. A suicide bomber has struck near the foreign ministry in the Afghan capital, killing at least six people and wounding about a dozen. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A suicide bomber struck Monday near the foreign ministry in Kabul, killing at least six people and wounding several, according to officials. It was the second time this year that there has been an attack near the ministry.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing but the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group has increased attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021. IS has targeted Taliban officials and patrols, as well as members of the country's minority Shiites.

According to Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, Taliban security forces spotted the bomber before he was able to reach a checkpoint at the Malik Asghar intersection, near the ministry.

The attacker then detonated his explosives, killing at least six civilians. Three members of the Taliban security forces were among those wounded in the attack.

The Kabul hospital run by the EMERGENCY non-governmental organisation said it received two fatalities from the explosion and 12 wounded, including a child.

"Among the injured, who are all male, is a child," said Stefano Sozza, the NGO's country director in Afghanistan. "Once again we are reminded that although the war has ended, we continue to treat victims of violence."

In mid-January, an IS attack near the ministry killed at least five people and wounded several others. Checkpoints line the fortified route to the ministry, which is on one of the roads leading to the presidential palace. Guards stop and search vehicles and people along the way.

The Islamic State group has also claimed other recent attacks in Kabul, including a bombing near a checkpoint at the city's military airport that killed and wounded several people and also an assault on a Kabul hotel in mid-December.

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