Afghan security forces stand guard near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Beirut, Lebanon  - The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing in Kabul on Monday that left at least 21 people dead, including four journalists.

In a statement issued via its propaganda agency Amaq, it said the first bomber had hit the Kabul headquarters of Afghanistan's intelligence services and security forces, with a second blast targeting journalists who had rushed to the scene.

The statement from IS's "Khorasan" province, the group's Afghan branch, said a first attacker "struck the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence services in Kabul".

"Apostate security forces, media and other people rushed to the scene of the operation, where a brother took them by surprise and martyred himself with his explosives vest," it added.

It gave the name of the first bomber as "Kaaka al-Kurdi", suggesting he was of Kurdish origin, and the second as Khalil al-Qurashi.

According to a provisional toll by the health ministry, at least 21 people were killed, including four reporters. 

Among them was Shah Marai, AFP's chief Kabul photographer.

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