Two back-to-back bomb blasts have hit near government buildings in the Afghan capital, Kabul, during the morning rush hour, leaving at least 25 people dead and 49 others injured.
The first bomb attack was carried out by an assailant on a motorcycle, who blew himself up in the Shashdarak area close to the buildings of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security in the heart of Kabul, officials said.
Shortly afterwards, a second explosion tore through a group of reporters who had gathered at the site of the first incident outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Urban Development.
Six journalists are said to be among the victims. AFP has confirmed the death of its chief photographer Shah Marai.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the blasts, which came only a week after the Takfiri terror group killed some 60 people in a bomb attack targeting a voter registration center in the west of Kabul.
Elsewhere, at least 11 school children were killed when an assailant blew off an explosives-laden car near a mosque in the Daman district of Kandahar Province. At least 16 people, including some NATO troops, were also wounded.
A police spokesman said the attack was thought to have been carried out by the Taliban.
Last week, the local Taliban militant group launched its so-called spring offensive in an apparent rejection of the Kabul government’s offer of peace talks. The militants have said the offensive, dubbed Khandaq, would mainly focus on “crushing, killing and capturing American invaders and their supporters.”
The latest rise in attacks comes as Afghanistan is preparing to hold long-delayed legislative elections in July.
Some 17 years into the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the country is still suffering from insecurity and militancy.
The Taliban militants are active in two-thirds of the country and fully control four percent of it, while Daesh militants have recently established a foothold in the eastern and northern parts of Afghanistan.