12 dead, 31 hurt in Kabul attack

KABUL: At least 12 people were killed and 31 wounded when a suicide attacker blew himself up among government ministry employees in Kabul who had left work early for Ramadhan and were waiting to take a bus home, officials said.
The IS group claimed responsibility for the latest attack in the Afghan capital, which comes a day before the government’s ceasefire with the Taliban is expected to start.
The blast occurred at the main gate of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, police and health ministry spokesmen said.
Employees were gathered at the entrance of the compound waiting for a bus to take them home when the suicide bomber blew himself up in the crowd, said rural ministry spokesman Faridoon Azhand, who was inside the building at the time.
“I was in my office when I heard a big blast,” another employee said.
“Most of my colleagues were leaving for the day to go home. I am worried about my colleagues. We are told to stay inside for now.”
Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai confirmed the attacker had targeted the employees as they waited for the bus at around 1:00 pm (0830 GMT). They were leaving early due to Ramadhan.
IS claimed the attack via their Amaq propaganda agency.
The attack was just one of several around Afghanistan on Monday.
Elsewhere, militants raided a government building in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, prompting terrified employees to jump out of the windows, officials said.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the education department, triggering a fierce battle between gunmen and Afghan security forces, Nangarhar provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.
At least 10 people were wounded, city health department director Najibullah Kamawal said.
In another incident, an explosion inside a house in Kabul killed one person and wounded three others, Stanikzai said.
— AFP