At least six people have been killed in a suicide bombing outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul. Two Russian staff members have been confirmed dead with many more injured and the death toll is expected to rise.
It's the first attack on a foreign mission in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control. It's also the latest in a spate of attacks across Afghanistan, but no group has as yet claimed responsibility.
Following the attack, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said “A set of measures was immediately taken to strengthen the protection of the outer perimeter. Additional Taliban authority forces were commissioned, and the capabilities of Afghanistan’s intelligence and counterintelligence were used.”
He also expressed hope that the perpetrators of the attack would be found and punished as soon as possible.
Officials say that guards shot the attacker dead as he approached the entrance to the consular section of the building. It is unclear whether the attack was to undermine the Taliban or target Moscow's presence in the country.
Russia is one of few countries to have kept a diplomatic presence in the country. However, Moscow has not formally recognised the Taliban. Despite Moscow designating them as a terrorist group and outlawing them on Russian soil, the group does have representation in Russia. A delegation was even at the recent Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
In June, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said that he was trying to build relations with the group and that he wants to see all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan taking part in running the country.