40 killed in blast at Afghan news agency office

Some 40 people have been killed and a number of others wounded in an explosion at an Afghan news agency in Kabul 

Some 40 people have been killed and a number of others wounded in an explosion at an office of the Afghan Voice news agency in the capital, Kabul.

Local media reported the explosion early on Thursday.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawosi said at least four people had been killed and 18 wounded.

The final death toll may be higher, according to witnesses who said there were heavy casualties among students attending a panel discussion with researchers at the agency’s offices.

An interior ministry spokesman said a suicide bomber was likely to have been behind the attack.

Photographs sent by witnesses showed what appeared to be serious damage at the site and a number of dead and wounded on the ground.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) condemned the attack "in the strongest terms possible", writing on Twitter. 

The group said it was heading to the scene to assist the aid efforts.

The attack is the latest in a series to hit Afghan media groups in recent years, following an attack on the private television station in Kabul last month.

According to a report this month by media freedom group Reporters without Borders, Afghanistan is among the world's most dangerous countries for media workers with two journalists and five media assistants killed doing their jobs in 2017.

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