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    Death toll of bombing near Afghan ministry rises to 10, says UN

    KABUL (AFP) – The death toll of a suicide bombing near the Foreign Ministry in the Afghan capital this week has risen to 10, the United Nations (UN) mission said yesterday.

    On Wednesday a bomber blew himself up near the ministry in central Kabul, in an attack claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State (IS) group.

    The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement to AFP that its findings revealed there were at least 10 people killed and another 53 wounded in the attack. “We are continuing to look into the incident,” it said.

    Afghanistan’s Taleban authorities, who have often tried to play down attacks challenging their regime, have said five people were killed in the attack.

    Italian non-governmental organisation Emergency, which runs a hospital in Kabul, had said that more than 40 wounded people were brought to its facility after the attack. The Taleban’s return to power in August 2021 brought an end to a two-decade war against United States-led forces, leading to a significant reduction in violence, but security has begun to deteriorate in recent months.

    Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in attacks, many claimed by IS, including ones targetting foreigners or foreign interests in the country. At least five Chinese nationals were wounded last month when gunmen stormed a hotel popular with Chinese business people in Kabul.

    That raid was claimed by IS, as was an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul in December that Islamabad denounced as an “assassination attempt” against its ambassador.

    Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by IS.

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