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IS claims Afghan airport checkpoint bombing

ISLAMABAD (AP) – The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for a bombing near a checkpoint at the Afghan capital’s military airport that killed and wounded several people.

IS said in a statement late on Tuesday that Sunday’s attack on the checkpoint in Kabul was carried out by the same member who took part in an assault on a hotel in the capital in mid-December.

The regional affiliate of the IS group – known as the IS in Khorasan Province – has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taleban takeover in 2021. Targets have included Taleban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s minorities.

IS published a photo of the attacker identifying him as Abdul Jabbar, saying he withdrew safely from the attack on the hotel after he ran out of ammunition. It added he detonated his explosives-laden vest targetting the soldiers gathered at the checkpoint.

The military airport is around 200 metres from the civilian airport and close to the Interior Ministry, itself the site of a suicide bombing last October that killed at least four people.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said after the attack that the blast left “several” people dead and wounded. He gave no exact figures or further information about the bombing, saying details of an investigation will be shared later.

Takor and spokesman for the Kabul police chief Khalid Zadran didn’t respond yesterday to requests for casualty figures.

Although Taleban security forces prevented photography and filming directly at the blast site, the checkpoint appeared damaged but intact. It is on Airport Road, which leads to high-security neighbourhoods housing government ministries, foreign embassies and the presidential palace.

Taleban fighters check the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan. PHOTO: AP
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