An unidentified militant launched a body-borne improvised explosive device (BBIED) attack in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul on the afternoon (local time) of Wednesday, September 5. The attack reportedly targeted a wrestling competition attended by members of the Hazara community. According to witnesses, the militant killed security guards at the sports club before detonating the BBIED. On Wednesday evening, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded, targeting first responders to the initial blast. Unconfirmed reports indicate that a third blast associated with the attack may also have occurred. According to initial reports, at least 20 people were killed in the bombings, with at least 70 more wounded; however, the number of casualties is expected to rise in the coming hours. Through their official news agency, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming that approximately 150 people were killed or wounded in the blasts. Additional militant attacks are possible in Kabul in the near-term.
Individuals in Kabul are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the area of the blast, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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