International News

Four journalists among 25 people killed in Kabul twin blasts

At least 25 people were killed, including Agence France-Presse (AFP) chief photographer Shah Marai and three other journalists, when two suicide blasts ripped through Kabul early on Monday, the health ministry has confirmed.
At least 30 people were wounded and rushed to hospitals, where some are in critical condition, spokesman Wahid Majroh told the Tolo News, warning the toll could rise.
The second explosion came minutes after the first and targeted reporters who were on the scene, police spokesman Kabul Hashmat Stanikzai told.
This undated file photo shows AFP photographer Shah Marai in Kabul. — AFP“The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd,” he said. A security source also confirmed both were suicide blasts.
The first blast was detonated by an assailant on a motorcycle and left at least four dead and five injured, according to the interior ministry. The initial attack occurred shortly before 8:00am (0330 GMT) near the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence services, Danish added.
No group has claimed responsibility for the two blasts, the interior ministry said.
It comes days after the Taliban kicked off their spring offensive in an apparent rejection of calls for the militants to take up the Afghan government’s offer of peace talks. During the announcement, the group vowed to target US forces and “their intelligence agents” as well as their “internal supporters”. The Taliban said the offensive was partly a response to US President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan announced last August, which gave US forces more leeway to go after insurgents.