A suicide bomber blows himself near a group of security personnel conducting security controls in the Afghan capital. Daesh terror group claims responsibility for the attack.

Police officers at the scene said the bomber had been wearing police or army uniform and had approached a group of security personnel near where the controls on illegal drugs and alcohol had been carried out, but there was no official confirmation.
Police officers at the scene said the bomber had been wearing police or army uniform and had approached a group of security personnel near where the controls on illegal drugs and alcohol had been carried out, but there was no official confirmation. (Reuters Archive)

A suicide bomber in the Afghan capital caused dozens of casualties on Thursday after blowing himself up close to a group of security personnel who were carrying out an operation against illegal drugs and alcohol dealing, officials said.

Daesh, which has claimed a series of attacks in Kabul over the past two years, issued a statement on its propaganda outlet Amaq, saying it was responsible.

It said a suicide bomber targeting a group of police and intelligence service personnel had detonated an explosive vest, killing or wounding around 80 of them.

Afghan officials earlier said that 11 bodies had been taken to hospitals around the city along with 25 wounded, TRT World sources confirmed that the death toll rises to 20 while 30 others are injured.

Police officers at the scene said the bomber had been wearing police or army uniform and had approached a group of security personnel conducting controls on illegal drugs and alcohol sellers, but there was no official confirmation.

"Kabul police forces were there to prevent a possible protest when a suicide bomber approached them and detonated his suicide vest," Kabul police spokesman Bashir Mujahid said.

TRT World's Bilal Sarwary has the latest from Kabul.

The latest attack took place days after a suicide bomber killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 80 at a Shia cultural center in Kabul, underlining the precarious security situation in the Afghan capital.

The capital has become one of the deadliest places in war-torn Afghanistan for civilians in recent months, as the Taliban step up their attacks and Daesh seeks to expand its presence in the country.

Last week's assault came days after a suicide bomber killed six civilians in a Christmas Day attack near an Afghan intelligence agency compound in the city, which was also claimed by Daesh. 

On December 18 militants from the group stormed an intelligence training compound in Kabul, triggering an intense gunfight with police, two of whom were wounded.

Security in Kabul has been ramped up since May 31 when a massive truck bomb ripped through the diplomatic quarter, killing some 150 people and wounding around 400 others - mostly civilians. No group has yet claimed that attack.

Despite the increased security measures militants continue to carry out attacks.

On Wednesday Afghanistan's spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), announced it had busted a 13-member Daesh cell in Kabul that had been planning to carry out "a series of big terrorist attacks" in the city. 

The Middle Eastern militant group has gained ground in Afghanistan since it first appeared in the region in 2015 and has scaled up its attacks in Kabul, including on security installations and the country's Shia minority.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies