At least nine people were killed Monday when two Taliban suicide bombers on foot struck close to the defence ministry in Kabul during late afternoon rush hour, the latest assault on the Afghan capital.

 

Afghan policemen

 

Around 30 others were wounded in the assault, which comes as the Taliban intensify their nationwide offensive against the US-backed government.

 

The two bombers blew themselves up in rapid succession, in an attack apparently aimed at inflicting mass casualties as government workers left the ministry after work.

 

“The first explosion occurred on a bridge near the defence ministry. When soldiers, policemen and civilians rushed to the scene, there was the second explosion,” defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told AFP.

 

“At least nine people, including civilians, have been martyred and around 30 others have been wounded,” he added.

 

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the defence ministry was the object of the first attack, while police were targeted in the second.