Conflicts & War

Diplomat, 5 others killed in bombing outside Russian embassy in Kabul

(Update 1: updates casualties, adds details)

Kabul/Moscow, Sep 5 (EFE) .- Russia suffered a severe blow to its interests in Afghanistan on Monday after a suicide attack on its embassy in Kabul killed at least six people, including the second secretary and a Russian security staff at the mission.

The attack took place on Monday morning near the consular section of the Russian embassy in the capital’s southwestern Darul Aman area, as the attacker was identified and contained by the security forces before he detonated himself.

“Due to the explosion (…) four of our countrymen and two employees of the Russian Embassy were killed and a number of Afghans were injured,” Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran tweeted.

Local police chief Malavi Saber told EFE that 11 people had been wounded.

Russia confirmed the identity of the deceased embassy staff members.

“According to preliminary information, the second secretary and an embassy guard were killed in the attack,” said Alexandr Bastrykin, chairman of the Kremlin-affiliated Investigative Committee of Russia.

Bastrykin has ordered the central investigation department to open a criminal case over the killing of the two embassy employees, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

He also called for a joint investigation into the incident by the ministry and Afghan agencies.

The Taliban insisted that their security agencies are carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident and “will take more serious steps for the security of the embassy.”

We “have close relations with the Russian Federation and will not allow such actions by the enemies to have a negative impact on the relations between the two countries,” Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted.

So far, no armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the Islamic State terror group has carried out several similar attacks in recent past, turning into the biggest security threat after the Taliban seized power last year.

Russia was one of the few countries – including Pakistan and Afghanistan – that kept their embassies in Kabul open even after the Islamists seized power on Aug. 15, 2021 after more than two decades of war.

Moscow was also one of the few governments that backed dialog with the Taliban after the hasty withdrawal of United States troops and increased international isolation.

However, Russia has refrained from officially recognizing the regime like the rest of the international community, and Taliban continues to be considered a terrorist group in Russia.

Security has become a major challenge for the Taliban, as Afghanistan has witnessed some of its bloodiest attacks in recent years after the group seized Kabul in August 2021.

Last month, at least 21 people were killed and around 30 injured in a suicide attack against a mosque in the Afghan capital. EFE


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