KABUL • A suicide attacker riding a motorcycle blew himself up inside Kabul's heavily fortified diplomatic zone yesterday, killing at least three people and wounding 15, officials said.
It was the first attack targeting the Afghan capital's so-called "Green Zone" since a massive truck bomb ripped through the area on May 31, killing and wounding hundreds of people.
"Our initial information shows the suicide attacker was on a motorcycle. He made it through the first checkpoint but was stopped at the second checkpoint and detonated," Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told Agence France-Presse.
"We don't know the target but it happened a few metres from the Defence Ministry's foreign relations office. No casualties to our personnel."
A Health Ministry official confirmed the casualty toll.
AFP reporters heard a loud explosion around 4pm just as workers would have been leaving their offices, followed by the sirens of emergency services. Witnesses said they saw multiple casualties being carried from the scene of the blast and driven away in ambulances.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, the Sunni militant group's Amaq news agency said.
The street in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of the city is close to several foreign embassies, as well as an office and guesthouse of the Defence Ministry.
The blast follows a series of attacks in or around Kabul in the past month, including one on a Shi'ite mosque in the city that killed more than 50 people and a separate attack on an army training facility that killed at least 15 soldiers.
Security in Kabul has been ramped up since the May 31 truck bomb. Special truck scanners, barriers and permanent and mobile checkpoints have been rolled out across the city.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS