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At least 6 killed in latest suicide attack aimed at Afghanistan's Taliban rulers

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An explosion near Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul killed at least six people Monday in the latest attack appearing to target the country's ruling Taliban regime. The blast left many more wounded as it struck as government employees were leaving work for the day, according to a Kabul police official.

The explosion happened at a security checkpoint close to the ministry building, which sits on a Kabul road leading to many important government institutions, facilities, and several foreign embassies.

"At least six civilians were killed and a number of people were wounded" in the blast including three Taliban security guards, Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told CBS News. He said a suicide bomber was identified by guards and killed before he reached the ministry, but his suicide vest still exploded.

Taliban fighters stand guard at the scene of a deadly explosion near the Foreign Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 27, 2023. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

A hospital in Kabul run by Italian medics said it had received two dead and 12 wounded, including a child, from the incident.

An eyewitness who was at a nearby shopping mall told CBS News the explosion came during rush hour, as government employees are permitted to leave four hours earlier during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but "ISIS Khorasan," or ISIS-K, the dangerous affiliate of the larger terror group in Afghanistan, has carried out many deadly suicide bombings across the country since its enemies in the Taliban retook the country following the U.S. military withdrawal in 2021.

In January, an ISIS suicide bomber targeted employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not far from the site of Monday's explosion, killing 13 people and wounding more than 40 others.

Although the Taliban have always dismissed the threat posed by ISIS-K, the Taliban's security forces have carried out repeated operations against the group in its strongholds.

The European Union's office in Kabul condemned Monday's attack, with the deputy head of the mission saying she was "appalled and truly saddened about today's explosion in
Kabul. The blast took innocent lives and critically injured more."

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