Kabul, 11 Rabiul Akhir 1437/21 January 2016 (MINA) – At least six people were killed and another 24 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Russian embassy in Kabul on Wednesday evening, according to Afghan officials.
The attacker, riding a motorbike, reportedly targeted a bus carrying employees of a prominent private television channel, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Anadolu Agency.
Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayob Salangi tweeted that four women were among the dead.
“At least six non-military people were killed in the attack,” Salangi said. “Four out of six people [killed] were female.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi, for his part, told Anadolu Agency that the targeted vehicle had not been accompanied by a military escort when the attack occurred.
Following the initial explosion, the bus caught on fire and the area was quickly cordoned off by security forces.
A police officer at the scene told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity that the mini-bus had been carrying employees of Tolo TV, a local television station.
The Afghan Health Ministry, meanwhile, has confirmed that at least 24 injured people had been admitted to hospital.
No groups, including the Taliban, have yet claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
The U.S. condemned the attack and said freedom of the press was “a cornerstone to democracy”.
In October of last year, the Taliban threatened Tolo TV and One TV television stations, describing them as “legitimate targets” after they reported on crimes allegedly committed by Taliban militants in Afghanistan’s northern city of Kunduz.
Officials at Tolo TV, for their part, said that seven staff members — including two women — had been killed in the attack and at least 25 others injured.
In a statement, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani denounced the incident, which he described as “cowardly and unforgivable”. (T/P010/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)