Blast outside Russian Embassy in Kabul kills 2 embassy staff

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Russian Foreign Ministry says two of its embassy staff were killed by an explosion outside Russia’s Embassy in Kabul on Monday.

The ministry didn’t offer any details as to who the staff members were or how they died. Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported earlier, citing anonymous sources, that 15-20 people were killed or wounded as the result of the explosion.

According to RIA Novosti, the blast occurred when a Russian diplomat came out to the people queuing outside to call out the names of the candidates for a visa.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti says an explosion has gone off outside the Russian Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

The agency, citing unnamed sources, says the blast occurred on Monday when a Russian diplomat came out to people waiting outside to call out the names of the candidates for a visa.

The report said there were between 15 to 20 casualties, but did not differentiate between dead and wounded. The agency didn’t clarify whether Russian diplomats were among the casualties.

The Taliban did not immediately confirm the explosion or give any casualty figures.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power.

The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks against the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents took over the country last year as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal.



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