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Islamic State takes responsibility for suicide attack in Kabul that killed 2 Russian diplomats

The Russian Foreign Ministry said an unknown militant set off an explosive device right outside the consular section's entrance. It said two members of the diplomatic mission were killed, "and there are also casualties among Afghan citizens."

Islamic State takes responsibility for suicide attack in Kabul that killed 2 Russian diplomats AJR
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First Published Sep 6, 2022, 10:11 AM IST

A suicide bombing outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday killed two members of the embassy staff and at least one Afghan civilian in a rare attack on a foreign diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. The blast went off at the entrance to the embassy's consular section, where Afghans were waiting for news about their visas.

According to reports, a Russian diplomat had emerged from the building to call out the names of candidates for visas when the explosion occurred.

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Late on Monday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying a militant wearing an explosive belt blew up at the embassy entrance.

It was the latest in a series of bombings and other attacks since the Taliban seized power a year ago, deposing a Western-backed government and capping their 20-year insurgency.

The recent bombing appeared to the first to target a foreign diplomatic mission in Kabul since the Taliban took over the government. The campaign of attacks has largely targeted Taliban positions or mosques of minority groups, particularly Shiites.

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The Taliban have largely been blamed on the Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan, which opposes the Taliban and harbors a virulent hatred of Shiites, considering them heretics.

It was not immediately clear why militants targeted the Russian Embassy in particular.

The Russian mission is one of only a couple of international missions still operating and performing consular services in Kabul - and the only European one. 

Meanwhile, several nations have closed their embassies when the Taliban captured Kabul in August 2021 as the US and NATO withdrew their troops.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said an unknown militant set off an explosive device right outside the consular section's entrance. It said two members of the diplomatic mission were killed, "and there are also casualties among Afghan citizens."

During the two-decade war between the Taliban and the Western-backed government, attacks on embassies were rare. In 2017, the Taliban set off a massive truck bomb in a district where many government buildings and embassies were located, killing more than 90 Afghans and heavily damaging the nearby German Embassy.

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