Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Islamic State suicide bomber ‘targeted Chinese diplomats’ in Kabul attack

Friday 13/January/2023 - 02:34 PM
The Reference

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s capital yesterday that appears to have targeted Chinese diplomats.

Police said the explosion outside the foreign ministry in Kabul killed at least five civilians but another Taliban official said the death toll was as high as 20.

The bomber bypassed Taliban security barriers “before blowing up his explosive belt in the middle of employees and guards”, the local chapter of Islamic State, known as Isis-K, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Earlier reports suggested a Chinese delegation was due to hold talks with the Afghan officials inside the foreign ministry building at the time of the attack, which also injured at least 40 people.

The Chinese government condemned the attack but said no Chinese citizens had been killed or wounded.

 “We hope the Afghan side will take firm and forceful measures to protect the safety of the personnel and institutes of all countries, including China,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry, said today.

Isis-K had previously claimed that the blast killed at least 20 people with “several diplomatic employees” among the dead.

There was no immediate response from the Taliban about the Islamic State group’s claim.

Khalid Zadran, a Kabul police chief spokesman, said the explosion killed five civilians and “a number of others were wounded” near the ministry.

More than 40 wounded people were brought to a surgical centre in Kabul run by Emergency, a humanitarian organisation, according to Stefano Sozza, its director in Afghanistan.

China is one of the few governments to maintain an active diplomatic presence there since the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

The bombing was the second attack in Kabul this year, and Isis-K has claimed a number of previous ones targeting Russian, Pakistani and Chinese diplomats and civilians in the Afghan capital.

In December Wang Yu, the Chinese ambassador, asked the Taliban to increase security around the Chinese embassy — a day before a Chinese-run hotel and residential complex in central Kabul came under attack by gunmen.

Isis-K, or Islamic State Khorasan Province, set up in January 2015, is the most violent of all the jihadist militant groups currently operating in Afghanistan.


Khorasan refers to a historical region covering parts of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan and the group recruits jihadists from both countries. However, a separate Pakistan section was declared in May 2019.

Many members are Afghan Taliban who saw their own organisation as not extreme enough and defected.