Suicide bomber hits center of Taliban power, kills four


KABUL, Afghanistan—Suicide bombers struck the center of Taliban power Wednesday, killing at least four people in an explosion at a government ministry in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The blast occurred in the afternoon as workers and visitors were praying inside the mosque of the Afghan Interior Ministry, which is in charge of security and law enforcement in the country. At least 25 worshipers were injured, according to Taliban officials.

The attack inside the fortified facility has dealt a severe blow to the Taliban, which has sought to demonstrate control and power since taking power in August 2021.

Although there were no immediate claims of responsibility, the Taliban’s main rival, the terrorist group ISIS, carried out a series of attacks, including on mosques, as part of a long-running uprising. includes members of the Shiite minority.

Wednesday’s attack took place at around 1:30 pm at the Ministry of Interior compound on the main road adjacent to Kabul’s international airport.

Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Thakor said the blast occurred during a prayer service. He said four worshipers were killed and 25 wounded.

A Kabul emergency hospital said it started accepting injured and burnt patients around 2pm. Some of the injured “reported seeing a man detonate the device,” said Dejan Panic, the hospital’s acting national director. “It was a suicide attack.”

The mosque explosion follows last week’s suicide bombing at an education center in Kabul, which more than doubled the number of deaths confirmed by Taliban officials, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, UN experts said the main military threat to the Taliban came from ISIS and guerrilla-style attacks by former Afghan government security personnel.

Their report said the presence of ISIS, al-Qaeda terrorist groups, and “many other terrorist groups and fighters on Afghan soil” has caused concern in neighboring countries and the wider international community.

In 2020, ISIS-affiliated groups attacked a maternity hospital in Kabul, killing 24 people, including newborn babies and mothers. In his 2021, before the Taliban took over, the group attacked a school and killed over 90 people, mostly female students.

Associated Press