Taliban launches attacks in Kabul

13 September 2011 - 13:40 By Reuters
An Afghan policeman runs in front of a tanker on fire in Kabul.
An Afghan policeman runs in front of a tanker on fire in Kabul.
Image: Omar Sobhani

There are five men in a group of suicide attackers that targeted central Kabul on Tuesday morning, a senior police official said. At least four civilians have been wounded in the complex assault.

“There are five attackers involved but I can not give you more details because the operation is ongoing,” said Mohammad Zahir, head of Kabul’s Criminal Investigation Unit.  

Nadira Hayat Burhani, the deputy head of the health ministry, said four wounded civilians had been admitted to two hospitals.  

Earlier on, blasts and gunfire echoed through the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, as the Taliban said several attackers armed with rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests were targeting government buildings near the embassy district.

At least six loud explosions were interspersed with gunfire around the middle of the day. Television pictures from near the attack showed a burned out minivan, a bicycle lying in the middle of the street and people running away.    

Police and other security officials blocked roads around the US embassy and other diplomatic missions, and said the attack had happened at a nearby square.  

“There are several armed attackers in Abdul Haq Square,” said Mohammad Zahir, head of Kabul’s Crime Investigation Unit.  

Several Taliban attackers armed with rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s and suicide vests have taken up positions in Kabul, near the embassy district, to attack government buildings, a spokesman for the insurgents said.  

“The primary targets of the attackers are the intelligence agency building and a ministry,” Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by phone from an undisclosed location.  

He said he could not comment on how many attackers there were while the operation was going on.  

The attack in Kabul follows a huge truck bomb at a Nato base in central Afghanistan in which four Afghan civilians were killed and 77 US troops wounded, on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks.  

Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since US-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in late 2001, with high levels of foreign troop deaths and record civilian casualties.