At least 13 people were killed and 31 wounded when a suicide attacker blew himself up among government employees in Kabul who had left work early for Ramazan and were waiting to take a bus home, officials said.
The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the latest assault 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 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 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 1pm local time.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack. 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.
Ten 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. The three wounded were detained after police found explosives, including suicide vests, in the building they suspect was being used by militants planning attacks in the city.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced security forces would halt hostilities with the Taliban for a week — though he warned that operations against other groups, including IS, would continue.
The ceasefire would last from the “27th of Ramazan until the fifth day of Eidul Fitr”, he said, indicating it could run from June 12-19.
The Afghan Taliban said on Saturday their fighters would stop attacking Afghan security forces.