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Journalists among the dead as Kabul suicide blasts kill 18

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By Associated Press and Ahmed Mengli  with NBC News World News
Image: Double suicide bombing in Kabul
Security forces respond to the second suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.   -   Copyright  Massoud Hossaini

KABUL, Afghanistan — A double suicide attack in Afghanistan's capital killed 18 people, including seven journalists, and injured at least 41 others Monday, authorities said.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) said that the news agency's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among those killed.

AFP photographer Shah Marai, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul.
AFP photographer Shah Marai, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul.AFP Photo/Getty Images

The news agency said he had been rushing to the scene of the first attack, when a second bomb hit.

The Ministry of Public Health confirmed the number of deaths and injuries to NBC News.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told the Associated Press the first suicide bomber was on a motorcycle, while the second attacker pretended to be a journalist before detonating his explosives while among them.

The suicide attacks took place in the central Shash Darak area, which is home to the NATO headquarters and several embassies.

The local Islamic State group affiliate and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks around the country, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces and ISIS targeting the Shiite minority.