By Omar Sobhani
Last Friday was a public holiday here in Afghanistan but I was on call and had gone for lunch in Kabul with my friends. Our relaxing day was interrupted by a huge explosion.
It took little time to figure out what was going on. As on most days, working or not, I carry my cameras so I jumped in my car and rushed towards the noise. My colleague Mohammad Ismail, who was enjoying a day off also, heard the explosion and called me as I headed towards the scene saying that he was coming to help cover the story. I spoke to my text and TV colleagues at Reuters bureau although the sound of the attack was too loud to hear easily but they were well aware of the incident.
As a safety measure I kept colleagues in the bureau informed of our plans and movements.
I left my car with my friend, put on my protective gear and continued on foot as the police had blocked all roads in the area. These kinds of incidents are not new to us and we are well practiced in how to react. We work with safety in mind and coordinate with our Kabul bureau. While shooting pictures I assessed the situation around every second and moved ahead cautiously.
Police stopped me several times as I walked, to check my IDs but let me continue once they were confident I was not a suspicious person. I was the first photographer at the explosion site and I positioned myself in a safe position, using a long lens to take pictures. When some of the policemen carried wounded comrades towards me I used a wide lens. Before long I started hearing shooting and realized that it was not just an explosion and I guessed some attackers had gone inside the building.