Several killed, wounded in blast near Kabul military airfield

An explosion at the entrance to a military airfield in the Afghan capital killed and wounded several people on Sunday, an official told AFP.

The cause of the blast at the gate of the facility next to Kabul's international airport was unclear, interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor said.

"A number of our compatriots have been martyred and wounded in the blast," Takor said, adding that authorities were investigating the incident.

A Kabul resident said late on Sunday his brother, an air force officer, was killed in the blast.

"He had worked in the previous government too as an air force officer," Abdul Noor told AFP, referring to the ousted, Western-backed government of former president Ashraf Ghani.

"He and some of his colleagues were in a queue waiting to enter the military airfield when the blast occurred," Noor said, indicating the blast had caused more casualties.

Taliban officials including Takor did not offer any other details despite repeated requests for information.

The Islamist group claims to have improved security since storming back to power in August 2021 and often downplays casualty figures from such attacks.

Yet there have been scores of bomb blasts and other attacks, many claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State group.

At least five Chinese nationals were wounded last month when gunmen stormed a hotel popular with Chinese business people in Kabul. That attack was claimed by Islamic State.

Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside their mission in September in another attack claimed by the group.

Hundreds of people, including members of Afghanistan's minority communities, have been killed and wounded in other attacks since the Taliban regained power.

ash-jd/pbt