Kabul Blast Targeted Shiites In Afghanistan, Also Creates Safety Concerns For Journalists

Kabul blast: US condemns attack, vows to 'work closely' with Afghanistan to hunt down terrorists

Kabul Blast Targeted Shiites In Afghanistan, Also Creates Safety Concerns For Journalists

At least 40 people were killed and over 30 injured here on Thursday in a suicide attack inside an Islamic religious school situated in a building which also houses the offices of an Afghan news agency.

The blast comes a week after the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a training facility of the same agency, the National Directorate for Security, in Kabul that ended when the attackers were killed before causing significant casualties. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Reuters' Kabul bureau chief James Mackenzie for an update on the details of the attack.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said another three people were wounded in Monday's attack, adding the exact target was unclear.

Sayed Abbas Hussaini, a journalist at the agency, said there appeared to have been more than one explosion during the attack, following an initial blast at the entrance to the compound.

Taliban forces fighting US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan have denied any involvement in the attack.

Afghan Journalists Safety Committee condemned the attack "in the strongest terms possible", writing on Twitter. Thirty-five men, four women and two children are among the victims, he said in a press conference, Afghanistan's TOLO news network reported.

The organization, however, said that Afghanistan's constitution guaranteed freedom of information and stated it was the only country in the world to have created "committees for the safety of journalists" with representatives of the state and journalists' associations.

More broadly, the Afghan capital has come under attack several times in 2017.

It also said that at least 13 journalists and media personnel were killed previous year while the number was four in 2015.

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