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Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Blast In Afghan Capital


Large crowds of people have been gathering outside the passport office in a bid to get travel documents in recent days. (file photo)

The Islamic State (IS) extremist group has claimed responsibility for a blast that took place near the gate of a passport office in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on December 23.

IS made the claim on December 25 in a statement posted on a Telegram account affiliated to the militant organization.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban-led government.

Taliban officials had said that a would-be suicide bomber was shot dead by security forces as he tried to enter the passport office. The details of the incident were not clear, but unconfirmed reports claimed that an explosion occurred at the entrance to the building, wounding several people.

Eyewitnesses said the area was locked down by Taliban security forces.

Large crowds of people have been gathering outside the passport office in a bid to get travel documents in recent days after the service was resumed following weeks of suspension.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghans are desperate to flee a growing humanitarian crisis in the country.

Thursdays are reserved for Taliban officials and soldiers to obtain passports because of huge demand and long queues. The attack took place on a Thursday, when around 200 Taliban fighters had gathered at the passport office from the early morning.

A local IS affiliate, known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, has intensified attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August.

The attacks have mainly targeted Taliban fighters as well as members of the minority Shi’ite Muslim community, killing and wounding hundreds of people.

The Taliban says it’s hunting IS affiliates by attacking their hideouts.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP

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