At least 21 people were killed, including Agence France-Presse chief photographer Shah Marai and three other journalists, when two suicide blasts ripped through Kabul early Monday, the health ministry has confirmed.
At least 27 people were wounded and rushed to hospital, where some are in critical condition, spokesman Wahid Majroh told Tolo news, warning the toll could rise.
The attacks came just a week after a blast at a voter registration center killed 60 people, in the wake of warnings by security officials against the risk of increasing attacks ahead of parliamentary elections planned in October.
Monday’s first explosion in the Shashdarak area close to buildings of the NDS intelligence service was followed by one outside the headquarters of the ministry of urban development and housing, just as people were entering the government office.
A Kabul police spokesman confirmed the blast and said it might have been caused by a suicide attack, but there was no confirmation and no immediate claim of responsibility.
Taliban militants, fighting to restore their version of strict Islamic law to Afghanistan, announced their usual spring offensive last week and there has been heavy fighting in several areas of the country since.
Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul since the beginning of the year, despite President Ashraf Ghani’s offer in February for peace talks “without preconditions”.
(With AFP and Reuters)