More than 20 people dead as two explosions hit Kabul's city centre

Authorities said at least 21 people, including a journalist, were killed and 27 wounded in the rush hour attack 

A man injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan's capital city. (Photo: BBC)
A man injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan's capital city. (Photo: BBC)

Two explosions have hit Kabul early on Monday morning, leaving several people dead and injured, Afghan authorities have said.

Kabul chief of police Dawood Amin said the area hit by the first blast on Monday morning included foreign offices. Authorities said at least 21 people, including a journalist, were killed and 27 wounded in the rush hour attack.

Mohammad Mousa Zahir, director of Wazir Akbarkhan Hospital, said several people suffering injuries from the blast were being treated at the hospital.

Both explosions are said to have occurred close to government buildings: the first near the NDS intelligence service, followed by another outside the headquarters of the ministry of urban development and housing.

Agence France-Presse said its chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, died in one of the explosions. “He died in a blast that was targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital,” the news agency said on Twitter. A Reuters photographer was slightly hurt by flying shrapnel.

The first explosion, detonated by an assailant on a motorcycle, was in the Shashdarak area close to buildings belonging to the NDS intelligence service. It came a week after a blast killed 60 people at a voter registration centre in the west of the city.

“After the first suicide attack in which a motorcycle was used, a second bomber after 30 minutes, with a camera pretending as a journalist detonated his explosives right amongst the cameramen and reporters and rescue workers,” police officials told The Guardian.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. There has been heavy fighting in several areas of the country since the Taliban announced its usual spring offensive last week.

The blasts come a week after an attack at a voter registration centre killed 60 people. Security officials have warned of an increasing risk of attacks ahead of parliamentary elections planned for October.

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