Moscow announced – on Monday morning – the killing of two employees of the Russian embassy in Kabul, and security sources confirmed that more than 20 people were killed or wounded.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that an unidentified gunman detonated an explosive device near the embassy, killing two employees of the diplomatic mission.
“Our embassy in Kabul is in close contact with the Afghan security services that are investigating the attack,” she added.
An Afghan security source said that 8 people were killed and 15 wounded in the explosion.
Al-Jazeera correspondent quoted a government source as saying that the bombing took place at the entrance to the embassy, and targeted citizens who came to submit their applications for a Russian visa.
Earlier, Reuters news agency said that two Russians – one a diplomat and the other a security guard – were wounded in the attack, and quoted an Afghan security source as saying that the security forces shot a suicide bomber who approached the embassy.
The Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported that a suicide bomber approached the headquarters of the Russian embassy and blew himself up, injuring a Russian diplomat.
The Afghan police closed all roads leading to the Russian embassy, west of Kabul.
This is the first attack targeting the Russian embassy after the Taliban movement came to power, and no party has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
The attack comes two days after the deaths and injuries of an explosion targeting a religious school in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, and 52 people were killed in an explosion targeting a mosque in Herat, in the western part of the country.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban forces would punish the perpetrators.
No party has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamic State has previously claimed responsibility for previous attacks and promised more.