At least 25 killed in double blasts in Kabul

Reuters reporter also hurt in blast; spokesman for the ministry of public health put the total toll at 21 dead and 27 injured

Kabul: The Islamic State group has taken responsibility for the double suicide bombing in Kabul this morning that killed 25 people, including eight journalists.

The Afghan affiliate of the militant group, known as Khorasan Province, posted an urgent statement on an IS-affiliate website saying two of its martyrdom seekers carried out the double bombing on Monday targeting the headquarters of the “renegade” Afghan intelligence services in Kabul.

An Afghan media watchdog says eight Afghan journalists have been killed in this morning’s suicide attacks in Kabul that claimed at least 25 lives.

A statement from the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee also says that so far, six journalists have been reported wounded in Monday’s attacks. The group strongly condemned all attacks against journalists.

The double suicide bombing took place in the central Kabul district of Shash Darak area, which is home to the NATO headquarters and a number of embassies in Afghanistan.

Police say the first bomber was on a motorcycle while the second was on foot, mixing in with a group of reporters who had rushed to the scene of the first bombing.

The fatalities among the reporters included AFP chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, and also a cameraman for the local Tolo TV station.

Four people were killed and five injured in the first explosion, said Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, adding that authorities had despatched ambulances to the incident sites.

Soon after, a second explosion took place beside journalists who had gathered to cover the first blast, killing or wounding a number of photographers and cameraman, Reuters witnesses said.

 

Taliban militants, fighting to restore their version of strict Islamic law to Afghanistan, announced their usual spring offensive last week and there has been heavy fighting in several areas of the country since.

Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul since the beginning of the year, despite President Ashraf Ghani’s offer in February for peace talks “without preconditions”.

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