KABUL -- A suicide attack on Monday (March 27) near the Foreign Ministry in Kabul killed six civilians and wounded several others, the Interior Ministry said.
The attacker was identified by security forces who shot at him in front of a business centre near the Foreign Ministry in Kabul, Interior Ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor tweeted.
"With his killing, the explosives carried by the attacker also exploded, which killed six civilians and wounded a number of others," he said.
Italian NGO Emergency, which operates a hospital in the capital, confirmed it had admitted two dead and 12 wounded individuals, including a child.
The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) later claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Amaq, the propaganda agency of the group's Khorasan branch (ISIS-K).
Monday's blast was the second attack near the Foreign Ministry in Kabul in less than three months, and the first since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on Thursday in Afghanistan.
Series of recent attacks
On January 11, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Foreign Ministry, killing 10 and wounding 53 people, according to the United Nations.
The Afghan authorities, who have often tried to play down attacks challenging their rule, had said that five people were killed in that attack, which was claimed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).
The group has increasingly become a major challenge, killing and wounding hundreds of people in several attacks.
At least five Chinese nationals were wounded in December when gunmen stormed a hotel popular with businesspeople in Kabul.
Eighteen casualties, all of them Afghan, were transferred to a nearby hospital, the BBC reported.
The hotel is popular with Chinese business visitors, who have flocked to Afghanistan since August 2021 in pursuit of potentially lucrative business deals.
That raid was claimed by ISIS, as was an attack on Pakistan's embassy in Kabul also in December that Islamabad denounced as an "assassination attempt" against its ambassador.
Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by ISIS.
The Russian embassy was one of the few to remain open after August 2021, when most nations shut their embassies down and evacuated staff.
The Foreign Ministry in Kabul said an investigation had been launched and that authorities "will not allow the enemies to sabotage relations between both countries with such negative actions".
The attack showed Afghanistan's "weakness" in gathering intelligence, Afghan security analyst Hekmatullah Hekmat said.
"If they can't prevent such attacks in the heart of Kabul, then they can't provide security in the countryside," he told AFP.
The increase in attacks across Afghanistan, mostly claimed by ISIS, has become a grave concern for the public.
Empowered by the power vacuum in Afghanistan, ISIS's Khorasan branch (ISIS-K) has been increasing attacks in several provinces, raising serious concerns about security throughout the country.
By increasing the frequency of its terrorist acts, ISIS is trying to turn Afghanistan into a bloody ideological battlefield, according to some analysts.
"Recent ISIS attacks show that the group has become very active and has expanded its activities to different parts of the country," Mohammad Naim Ghayur, an Italy-based military analyst, told Salaam Times earlier this month.
"Dozens of terrorist groups are active in Afghanistan, and ISIS's relationship with them is improving," he said.
"As these groups unite, not only the security of Afghanistan but the entire world's security will face increasing threats."
"If the current situation continues, we will witness bloody ISIS attacks in several provinces," he predicted.
ISIS-K's activities will likely expand across the country and the terrorist group will seize territory unless an inclusive government that is supported by the people is established in Afghanistan, Ghayur said.
"ISIS is strongly supported by regional countries and intelligence agencies," he said. "Without that intelligence support, ISIS would not be able to carry out such complex and bloody assaults."
"Unfortunately, the actual victims of this bloody game are innocent Afghans," he added.
ISIS is trying to start a war in Afghanistan, said Sayed Ashraf Sadaat, a civil society activist in Herat.
"ISIS has grown significantly in the past year and a half," he told Salaam Times earlier this month. "Its activities in Afghanistan are a serious concern."