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Four journalists among 25 people killed in Kabul twin blasts

AFP

At least four Journalists and 25 people were killed when a suicide bomb hit central Kabul, swiftly followed by a second explosion that tore through a crowd of journalists at the scene on Monday, killing Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, police said.

The second explosion came minutes after the first and targeted reporters who were on the scene, police spokesman Kabul Hashmat Stanikzai told the AFP. “The second explosion took place in the same area. We do not know the nature of the blast, but it is the same location,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told the AFP.

The first blast was detonated by an assailant on a motorcycle and left at least four dead and five injured, according to the interior ministry. The initial attack occurred shortly before 8:00am (0330 GMT) near the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence services, Danish added.

No group has claimed responsibility for the two blasts.

It comes days after the Taliban kicked off their spring offensive in an apparent rejection of calls for the militants to take up the Afghan government’s offer of peace talks. During the announcement, the group vowed to target US forces and “their intelligence agents” as well as their “internal supporters”.

Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul Shah Marai was killed in the second blast, AFP has confirmed.

 

Updated: 1:56 PM (Nepal)

A coordinated double suicide bombing hit central Kabul on Monday morning, killing 25 people, including Agence France-Presse (AFP) chief photographer Shah Marai and a cameraman for a local TV station, the Afghan police said.

At least 45 people were wounded in the twin attacks, according to Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, who also added that four policemen were among those killed.

The second explosion came minutes after the first at targeted reporters at the scene, Stanekzai told AFP.

“The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd,” he said.

A security source also confirmed both were suicide blasts.

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