13 dead in ‘IS attack’ on Afghan Ministry

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan

"Woman, children and employees of the ministry are among the victims", Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told Reuters, referring to the dead and wounded.

According to Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of the military, General Bajwa visited Kabul on Tuesday and during his visit, he had exclusive one on one meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani followed by delegations level discussions.

Employees were leaving their offices at 1:00 pm (0830 GMT) due to the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, when the suicide attacker struck.

"An explosion happened at the exit gate of the ministry", Daud Naimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, told AFP.

Aminullah Ayaddin, a provincial council member, said the attack in the Qala-e Zal district unfolded as the soldiers gathered to eat a predawn meal before fasting.

The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's AMAQ news agency said.

The three wounded were detained after police found explosives, including suicide vests, in the building they suspect was being used by militants planning attacks in the city.

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The government will continue its operations against other groups, such as IS, during the ceasefire.

Afghan security forces and the Taliban have vowed to retaliate if attacked during the ceasefire.

The Taliban said Saturday their fighters would stop attacking Afghan security forces but only for the first three days of Eid, the holiday capping Ramadan, that begins at the end of this week.

This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced that the government has chose to a ceasefire with the Taliban group starting from 27th of the holy month of Ramadan until 5th day of Eid.

The Taliban's announcement has meanwhile brought renewed hope for the resumption of the stalled peace process between the Afghan government and the militants.

Talking to Commander RSM, the COAS said that Pakistan desires that US/ NATO forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, the ISPR mentioned.

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