Two Russians and a civilian are killed and 11 others wounded in the blast near the entrance of the Russian embassy in Kabul.

Witnesses said a large number of people were present at the spot when the bomb exploded.
Witnesses said a large number of people were present at the spot when the bomb exploded. (Reuters Archive)

Two Russian staff members have been killed after a suicide bomber detonated explosives near the entrance of the Russian embassy in Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The RIA Novosti news agency on Monday said the explosion went off when a Russian diplomat came out to people waiting outside to call out the names of candidates for visas. 

Citing Moscow's Foreign Ministry, the agency later reported that two members of the embassy staff were killed.

Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said at least one civilian was killed and that 10 others were wounded. 

He said a suicide attacker tried to detonate a bomb in the crowd, but was identified by security forces who shot him. It was not immediately clear if he was able to detonate the explosives.

Investigation launched

Zadran said an investigation was under way, and that the area was blocked off by police.

According to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the explosion occurred “in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy” in the Afghan capital.

“An unknown militant set off an explosive device," the ministry said. “As a result of the attack, two members of the diplomatic mission were killed, and there are also victims among Afghan citizens.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. 

Daesh group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks against the interim government and civilians since the Taliban took over the country last year as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal.

Russia is one of the few countries to have maintained an embassy in Kabul after the Taliban take over. 

Although Moscow does not officially recognise the Taliban's government, they have been in talks with officials over an agreement to supply gasoline and other commodities. 

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Source: Reuters