Explosion Near the Home of Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi in Kabul, Afghanistan

A large explosion was reported near Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi’s home in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. Shooting was also heard in the area after the explosion. Heavy fire from automatic weapons was heard in central Kabul two hours after the first explosion, followed by a second large explosion and several smaller ones.

Militants are believed to have targeted the home of Acting Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi in central Kabul after detonating an explosives-laden car. An armed group stormed Muhammadi’s residence following the explosion, according to TOLONews, an Afghan news agency, and skirmishes persisted. After the incident, Defense Department spokesman Fawad Aman tweeted, “General Bismillah Mohammadi completely healthy.” Hamid Roshan, a deputy spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said the explosion happened at 8pm local time in a residential area near the Green Zone, a high-security zone in the city.

The homes of a few parliamentarians are also in the vicinity where the explosion occurred. In a voicemail, former Vice President Younus Qanuni said Mohammedi was not at home during the incident and that “family members were evacuated from the area of the attack.” On his official Twitter account, the Minister of Defense said, “Do not worry, everything is fine!” without mentioning the reports, and later in a video, The Minister of Defense Bismillah Mohammadi said, “I assure you that these events will not cause the slightest disturbance to our spirit and determination to defend this land.” Acting Defense Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi says he and his family are safe following the attack on their home in Kabul. However, he claims that some of his security guards have been injured.

At least three individuals were killed and seven others were injured, according to Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, a spokesman for the health ministry. Hundreds of civilians in the neighborhood have been evacuated, according to Ferdaws Faramarz, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief. He added that security personnel were doing house-to-house searches in case any other assailants were hiding in the vicinity.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Residents of Kabul chanted “Allahu Akbar” in different sections of the city to show their support for Afghan security forces. Meanwhile, citizens of Nangarhar supported the security forces by shouting “Allahu Akbar” in several parts of the city of Jalalabad.

File photo: Reaction to an explosion in Kabul, 2014 (Mirahmad Kouhnavard / CC BY-SA 4.0)