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Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Kabul Attack 

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FILE - This picture taken on Jan. 1, 2023 shows the site of an explosion next to the entrance to a military airfield in Kabul.

Islamic State said Monday its Afghanistan-based affiliate was behind Sunday’s suicide bomb attack outside the military airport in the country’s capital, Kabul.

The bombing was the third high-profile attack in the city in the last month claimed by the terror group’s regional branch, IS-Khorasan.

The morning blast at the airport’s entrance left several people dead and wounded, a Taliban-led Interior Ministry spokesperson said shortly after the attack. He shared no further details while Taliban forces prevented filming and photography at the crime scene.

Media reports quoted unnamed security sources as claiming the attack had killed at least eight Taliban forces and injured numerous others.

The militant group posted on Telegram that Sunday’s attack killed 20 people and wounded 30 others. Taliban officials dispute those figures, and the interior ministry said it would release an official death toll later.

IS-Khorasan claimed Monday that the attacker had participated and survived last month’s raid on a downtown Kabul hotel where Chinese nationals were staying, among other guests.

The December 12 attack killed or wounded several Taliban forces, while China confirmed five of its nationals had also suffered injuries. Beijing swiftly advised Chinese citizens and companies “to leave and evacuate the country as soon as possible.”

Taliban authorities claimed at the time that the three shooters involved in the hotel attack were killed in ensuing gunbattles with security forces. But IS later released a video of two men, claiming they assaulted the Chinese nationals.

IS-Khorasan also claimed a December 2 assassination attempt on Ubaid ur Rehman Nizamani, head of Pakistan’s embassy in the Afghan capital. Nizamani escaped unharmed in the shooting incident, but his Pakistani security guard was injured.

Last week, a car bomb in the northeastern Badakhshan border province killed the Taliban regional police chief and his two guards. IS-Khorasan took responsibility for plotting that attack in the provincial capital, Fayzabad.

Critics say the repeated attacks in Kabul and beyond raise questions about claims that Taliban security forces have degraded the presence of IS-Khorasan in Afghanistan.

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