Date: 20 September 2022  Author: Kinga Szurc

Attack at Russian embassy in Afghan capital

An attack took place on September 5, 2022, in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in front of the entrance to the Russian Embassy. Two people were wounded and four were killed, including two employees of the diplomatic mission; there were also casualties among Afghan civilians standing in line to the building. The attack was organized by a suicide bomber who was killed by Taliban security guards.

SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

The widely known Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for Monday’s 10:50 a.m. attack, the intended suicide bombing next to the Russian Embassy in Kabul. The militant was wearing a suicide vest[1]. As one of the Russian diplomats stepped outside to announce the names of Afghan visa applicants, an explosion occurred. Reports say that the militant wanted to blow himself up in the crowd to harm as many people as possible, but was shot dead by Taliban security guards before he could do so. The shooting of the bomber caused the explosions[2].

The attacks in Afghanistan remind us of the dangers in this country. Recent explosions have mainly targeted Taliban members and religious buildings, such as mosques belonging to religious minorities. According to a statement issued by the Investigative Committee of Russia, Moscow is deeply shaken by the situation, the case will certainly not be left without consequences, and the unit will pursue a criminal case regarding the attack.

A bombing of this kind, in which the target was a diplomatic mission, took place for the first time since the seizure of power in Afghanistan. The Russian Foreign Ministry decided to reinforce security at the embassy after the attack[3].

After Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban a year ago, they decided to urge diplomatic missions from various countries to stay in Afghanistan and continue their work. After some dialogue, Russia decided to stay in Kabul, although it has not officially recognized the Taliban as a state government. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, announced that he hoped those responsible for the attack would be justly punished.

Terrorist attacks have taken place not only in the capital, but also in other parts of the country. In recent months, they have taken place in Herat, a city located just across the border with Iran. One of them killed worshippers who had gathered for prayer and also a cleric, Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari, who was affiliated with the Taliban and was an advocate of Sharia law. Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani was another person killed in a suicide bombing, and he was also an advocate for radical views[4].

[1] Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, https://www.rferl.org/a/suicide-bomber-detonates-outside-russian-embassy-in-kabul-/32018922.html, accessed September 6, 2022.

[2] Ayaz Gul, Blast in Kabul Kills 2 Russian Embassy Staff, 4 Afghans, https://www.voanews.com/a/blast-in-kabul-kills-2-russian-embassy-staff-/6731342.html, accessed September 6, 2022.

[3] Ebrahim Noroozi and Dasha Litvinova, Suicide attack at Russia embassy in Kabul kills 2 diplomats, https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/blast-russian-embassy-kabul-casualties-reported-89345056, accessed September 6, 2022.

[4] Christina Goldbaum, Suicide Attack Hits Russian Embassy in Afghanistan, Killing 2 Employees, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/05/world/asia/kabul-russian-embassy-suicide-attack.html, accessed September 6, 2022.

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