Abomb exploded near the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday morning, killing at least two people, officials said.
The explosion happened near the embassy building located in the Darul Aman area, southwest of Kabul, Khaama Press reported.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that at 10:50 am Kabul time, an unknown militant set off an explosive device in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Kabul.
As a result of the attack, two employees of the diplomatic mission were killed, and there are also victims among Afghan citizens,” the ministry said.
Russian state-run news agency TASS cited the Arabic TV channel Al Arabiya as saying that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Russian news outlet RIA Novosti cited a source as saying that two Russians were injured—a diplomat and a security guard.
There was reportedly a queue for obtaining visas in front of the building at the time of the blast.
Two people were killed and 11 injured in the attack, Reuters reported, quoting police.
“The suicide attacker before reaching the target, was recognized and shot by Russian embassy [Taliban] guards,” Mawlawi Sabir, head of the police district where the bomb detonated, told the news agency.
Khalid Zadran, a spokesperson for Kabul police, said guards were able to stop the attacker before he reached the embassy gates.
“An explosion took place when the security forces shot the suicide bomber before reaching to the crowd outside the Russian Embassy,” he said in a tweet.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
The Russian embassy in Kabul is one of the few diplomatic missions to remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country in August 2021.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement on Monday that Moscow expects that those behind the attack on the Russian embassy will be punished in the near future.
He called the incident a “terrorist act.” Lavrov was quoted by TASS as saying that security measures were promptly stepped up after the attack.
“A set of measures was immediately taken to strengthen the protection of the outer perimeter,” Lavrov said.
Russia’s foreign ministry said earlier that the embassy is in close contact with the Afghan security services, which are investigating the incident.
The blast comes after an explosion tore through a mosque in western Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 18 people, including a high-profile pro-Taliban cleric.
The Taliban took over the country in August 2021 following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Since then, bombings have been widely linked to the rival radical Islamic State group.