“An explosion happened at the exit gate of the ministry,” Daud Naimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, told AFP.
District centres have been lost or threatened in the northern provinces of Baghlan and Badakhshan and there has been heavy fighting in Faryab in the northwest and Ghazni and Zabul, south of Kabul.
Militant group Islamic State, which has claimed several previous attacks on Shi’ite targets, claimed responsibility, its Amaq news agency said. The Taliban issued a statement denying any connection.
Kabul blast: The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, a week after they claimed the attack on the International Hotel in which more than 20 people were killed.
This is not the first time the nearly six-decade-old hotel has been attacked. In 2011, the Intercontinental Hotel — one of two main luxury hotels in the city — was attacked by Taliban fighters. Several armoured US military vehicles were close to the hotel along with Afghan police units.
Kabul attack highlights: The Intercontinental Hotel was previously attacked by Taliban fighters in 2011. Located on a hilltop, the hotel is heavily protected like most public buildings in Kabul.
Kabul blast: Earlier in the day, an explosion went off at an office of the Afghan Voice news agency in Kabul, killed at least four people, officials and witnesses told Reuters.
Hospital program coordinator Dejan Panic confirmed the fatalities from the attack, which came as worshippers were leaving the Hussainia Mosque in central Kabul following Friday prayers.
A cargo flight landed from Kabul to New Delhi on Monday, which was received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State (External Affairs) M J Akbar, among others.
The bomber blew himself up in the kitchen of the mosque after police disallowed him from entering the building, which at the time of the blast was packed with worshippers.
Kabul attack: The attack on the Indian ambassador’s residence comes less than a week after a truck blew up at the entrance to the Green Zone – inside which the Indian embassy as well as India House is located.
Kabul has been on edge since the bombing in the highly fortified area last Wednesday, the deadliest in the city since 2001.
Kabul blast: According to TOLO News, early reports indicate that a rocket landed close to Resolute Support, a Nato building, compound in Kabul city.
The timing and location of the latest attack in Kabul may be significant. The dots can be joined to the Haqqani Network
For Hamidullah’s family, the first indication something was be wrong was the sound of a powerful explosion, followed by an expanding cloud of smoke rising over the city.