May 24, 2018

Blast, gunfire kill 5 people in Kabul

10 May 2018, 12:17 | Marta Robbins

The series of explosions are the latest attacks on the Afghan capital

The series of explosions are the latest attacks on the Afghan capital

The first attack occurred at around 11:30am Kabul time in which two suicide bombers stormed the PD13 Police Headquarters' building in Dasht-e-Barchi area, in the west of Kabul, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

In the second attack that killed five people and wounded 14, one attacker bombed the entrance of a police station to create an entryway for four other bombers. Members of the security force were said to be among those killed and wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The second attack took place in front of a police station in Shar-e-Naw neighbourhood in downtown Kabul where a "search and clearing operation" was still under way.

Afghanistan's Western-backed government is fighting an intensifying war with both the Taliban and the Islamic State that has turned much of Kabul into a high security zone of concrete blast walls and razor wire.

IS claimed the first attack on a police station in a heavily Shia-populated neighbourhood in the city's west, which interior minister Wais Barmak said ended after roughly an hour.

According to the minister, at least two other attackers fired on security forces from a nearby building. IS claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency. Insurgent casualty tolls often are inflated.

A senior Afghan security official said intelligence services believe the Haqqani network, a militant group affiliated to the Taliban which has a long record of urban attacks, was the real organiser of the attack. But the agency provided no immediate evidence.

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Pakistan condemned the attacks as "blatant terrorism targeting innocent civilians" in a statement from the country's foreign affairs ministry.

"It is a week in which people are scared, when they want to visit Shahr-e-Naw area, but we don't have other options except working here with fear", Obaidullah, a taxi driver, told TOLOnews station.

Twin suicide bombings in Kabul on April 30 claimed by IS militants killed at least 25 people, including nine journalists who had rushed to the scene of the first attack.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack but many officials doubt the group, which has its stronghold in a remote eastern border region of Nangarhar province, has the capacity to mount such complex attacks.

Violence in Afghanistan has surged since the Taliban launched its annual spring offensive, dubbed as "Al Khandaq", two weeks ago. "Right after that, they killed another person in the area and then one of the attackers entered in the building and detonated his explosives".

The officials also said their troops had killed 800 Taliban insurgents since late April. A would-be suicide bomber was also gunned down before he could reach his target nearby.

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