Kabul attack over, assailants killed: Afghan ministry

by Garry Watts April 22, 2019, 2:36
Kabul attack over, assailants killed: Afghan ministry

No other group claimed immediate responsibility, but the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group has previously carried out multiple deadly attacks in the capital.

"We were having lunch when we heard the explosion", said Rabia, who worked at the childcare center.

Saturday's attack opened shortly before midday with an explosion at the entrance to the multi-storey building housing the ministry in a busy commercial area of the city, followed up by gunfire which could be heard over a mile away.

Among the dead were four civilians and three police officers, while another eight civilians were wounded, a government official said.

After nearly five hours of fighting, security forces killed the remaining four attackers, Mojahid said.

There was no final casualty total but one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said at least three people had been killed and nine wounded in addition to the attackers.

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Police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, said 29 other people were hospitalized with serious injuries. COGTA MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and officials are reportedly making their way to the scene.

About five hours after the attack began, the Ministry of Interior declared the incident over.

He said as many as 2,700 government employees and civilians were rescued by security forces after being stuck in several government buildings including the central post office.

One woman said she had been in a group of about 30 people on the 10th floor when the assault started, then was told to move up to the 18th floor as gunfire increased. He said that according to eyewitnesses, many employees of the ministry have been evacuated.

The Taliban group has rejected the involvement of the group in today's coordinated attack on the ministry of telecommunications and information technology in Kabul.

Footage on local television showed a small plume at the building, and people climbing out windows on a lower level.

Past year however saw a string of attacks including one where a massive bomb concealed in an ambulance killed more than 100 people.

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