Explosion outside Afghan foreign ministry in Kabul causes casualties

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An explosion outside the foreign ministry in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Wednesday caused a number of casualties, police said.

A photo of the area, confirmed by official sources, showed at least nine people wounded or killed, lying outside the ministry as security forces attended to them.

The blast hit around 4 p.m. local time (1130 GMT), Kabul’s police spokesperson Khalid Zadran said. He did not provide details on the number of casualties, saying officials were investigating.

The Taliban-run administration has faced an insurgency by Islamic State militants who have targeted foreigners at certain sites, including the Russian and Pakistani embassies and a hotel catering to Chinese businessmen.

The blast took place at a busy time of day in a heavily fortified area surrounded by checkpoints on a street housing several ministries.

A person in a nearby office, who asked not to be named, described hearing a loud explosion and said they were evacuated from their building.

Some countries, including Turkey and China, also have embassies in the area.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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