Suicide blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan, have taken the lives of thirty-one people including ten journalists, today. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The first explosion happened at around 8 a.m. this morning local time. It took place in the Shashdarak area of the city, where a number of government buildings are located, including the U.S. embassy. As journalists rushed to cover the explosion, a second attacker, reportedly dressed as a TV cameraman detonated a second explosive device.
In a separate incident, 29-year-old Ahmad Shah of the BBC Afghan service was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Khost province.
One of the journalists killed in the Kabul blast, Shah Marai of Agence France Presse, had been Afghanistan covering the war since 2002. He had written about the dangers of reporting on the conflict.
“I don’t dare to take my children for a walk. I have five and they spend their time cooped up inside the house. Every morning as I go to the office and every evening when I return home, all I think of are cars that can be booby-trapped, or of suicide bombers coming out of a crowd. I can’t take the risk,” he wrote in a 2016 essay entitled “When Hope if Gone.”
Marai leaves behind two wives and six children.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul condemned the attacks. “I condemn today’s terrible #KabulAttack & reaffirm our commitment 2 stand w/ the #Afghan people in their fight for peace & security across #Afghanistan. We mourn for those murdered, including the brave journalists who stand for truth in the face of violence,” Ambassador John R. Bass wrote on Twitter.
Afghanistan has seen a series of attacks in recent weeks. Last week six people were killed, including two Afghan soldiers, when a car bomb exploded in Helmand province. That attack was preceded by an April 22 suicide blast that killed fifty-seven people, including at least five children, and wounded an additional 100 at a voter registration center.
Photo by Mahmoud Bali via Wikimedia Commons