Suicide attacks on news agency in Kabul, 40 killed

At least 40 people have been killed and 30 injured in a series of suicide attacks on a news agency and a neighbouring Shiite cultural centre in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.

The blasts occurred during a morning panel discussion with journalists at the centre, and targeted the offices of the Afghan Voice news agency.

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Women, children and journalists are among the dead, along with students who had gathered for the panel discussion. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban issued a statement denying any involvement.

Sayed Abbas Hussaini, a journalist at Afghan Voice, said one reporter at the agency had been killed and one injured. Photographs sent by witnesses showed what appeared to be serious damage at the site, and a number of dead and injured on the ground.

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Deputy Health Minister Feda Mohammad Paikan said 35 bodies had been brought into a nearby hospital. Television pictures showed many of the injured suffered serious burns.