A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) detonated near a government hospital in Qalat (Zabul province) on the morning (local time) of Thursday, September 19. The attack occurred at approximately 06:00 and left at least seven people dead and over 85 others wounded. Nearby office buildings, including a National Directorate of Security (NDS) office, and homes were also damaged in the blast. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the bombing and said that the NDS office was the target of the attack.
Similar Taliban attacks are possible in Zabul province in the near term.
Taliban militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are, in part, intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country.
Individuals in Zabul province are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the affected area, liaise with their security partner, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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