Kabul hit by heavy explosions and gunfire | News | DW | 09.05.2018
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Kabul hit by heavy explosions and gunfire

Police and Interior Ministry officials report that several loud explosions have rocked the Afghan capital, Kabul. At least two people have been killed and officials fear the casualty toll may rise.

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Suicide bombers struck two police stations in central Kabul Wednesday, killing at least two officers.

The area is near foreign embassies and government offices and the attacks follow twin suicide bombings claimed by "Islamic State" (IS) last week, which killed at least 25 people, including nine journalists who had gone to the scene of the first attack.

What we know so far

  • There were three loud blasts in rapid succession according to police and Interior Ministry officials. 
  • At least five people were killed and more than six people injured in back-to-back suicide bombings.
  • Both bombings were followed by a gunbattle.
  • Officials report a "cleanup operation" is underway.
  • The Taliban and Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks
  • Afghanistan's intelligence agency blamed the Taliban's Haqqani Network and Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for both incidents.
fghan security personnel inspect at the site of a suicide attack in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, (picture-alliance/AP Photo/R. Gul)

Officials said that at least three suicide bombers attacked police stations in Kabul

Official response:

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP, "The second attack happened in front of police precinct 10 in Shar-e-Naw in central Kabul," and added that "two attackers who tried to enter the police compound were shot dead."

An official from a branch of the Afghanistan International Bank who was reached by telephone said, "We can hear the gun shots and we are waiting inside the bank's safe room until the clashes end,"

Number of attacks: Kabul has seen an increase in bombings and other attacks against security forces and civilians since the Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive on April 25. Fighting usually picks up in Afghanistan as warmer weather melts the snow in mountain passes, which allows insurgents to move around more easily.

Read more: The job hazards of an Afghan district governor

Provinces under fire: Earlier in the day, Taliban fighters captured a second remote district compound in two days. Mohammad Hashim, a member of parliament from the northern Faryab province, said insurgents seized the compound in Bilchirgh district and captured several villages nearby.

av/rt (DPA, AP, AFP)

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