On Monday, a terrorist act was committed near the Russian embassy in Afghanistan in Kabul. As a result of the attack, there are dead and wounded. Although no one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion, it can be assumed that the Afghan offshoot of a well-known global jihadist network is behind it.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the explosion occurred at 10.50 am “in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in the Afghan capital.
A powerful explosion occurred near the diplomatic mission building in the Darul Aman district in southwestern Kabul, the Afghan news organization Khaama Press reported. According to local residents, a large number of people were at the scene of the incident.
Information about the number of deaths in a suicide attack varies depending on the sources. In particular, Reuters, referring to the local police, reports the death of 2 people and 11 injured. Eight to 10 people could have been killed, according to the Associated Press. According to other reports, two embassy employees (a security guard and a diplomat) and at least one civilian were killed in the explosion.
The explosion reportedly occurred when a member of the Russian diplomatic mission went out to people waiting outside to name the visa candidates. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, two embassy employees were killed.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov honored the memory of the dead with a minute of silence and expressed hope that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack near the embassy in Kabul would be found in the near future.
According to the foreign minister, the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital has stepped up security, and additional forces from the Afghan authorities, intelligence and counterintelligence have also been involved.
As the head of the police station located near the site of the tragedy, Maulavi Sabir, told Reuters, the suicide bomber was seen by the Taliban guarding the Russian embassy from the outside (the Taliban movement is recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in the Russian Federation). They opened fire on the attacker, but nevertheless the explosion was carried out.
Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, said an investigation was underway and the area of the emergency had been blocked by law enforcement forces.
Russia is one of the few countries that retained an embassy in the Afghan capital after the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan in mid-August last year. Although formal recognition of the Taliban administration has not taken place, negotiations are underway between Moscow and Kabul on various issues, Western media note.
Although no one has so far taken responsibility for the terrorist attack at the Russian embassy, it can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that the Afghan branch of ISIS (Islamic State, a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) is behind the attack. The group, known as IS-Khorasan Province, has been operating in Afghanistan since 2015 and remains the main opponent of the Taliban now in power in the country, having greatly intensified its terrorist activities. (And, of course, ISIS views Russia as one of its worst enemies.)
In July of this year, the Taliban government labeled ISIS-Khorasan a “fake sect” by banning Afghans from providing any assistance to or dealing with the group.
The “ISIS” operating in Afghanistan arrange numerous terrorist attacks against the Taliban, as well as representatives of religious minorities (primarily Shiites) and ordinary civilians.
The group’s most notorious attack was the Kabul airport bombing during the evacuation of foreign troops from the country, killing numerous US Marines and many more Afghan civilians, including Taliban fighters.
According to clearly incomplete UN data, since the US-led coalition completely left Afghanistan, about 700 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured in the country between August 15 last year and June 15 this year – and in most cases this victims of ISIS-Khorasan.
Over the past few weeks, two prominent Afghan clerics who have been vocal supporters of the Taliban and critical of ISIS have been killed by IS suicide bombers in Herat and Kabul in the past few weeks.
One of the reasons for the intensification of the terrorist activities of the Afghan branch of ISIS is the attempt to prove the weakness of the Taliban and its inability to control the security situation in the country after coming to power.