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Kabul onslaught ends as 5th attacker killed

24 May 2013 - 17:29
24 May 2013 - 17:29

KABUL onslaught, targeting the UN mission office and police in the heart of heavily fortified Kabul.

The major attack came to an end with the killing of the last surviving attacker around 10:30 pm, Kabul crime branch (investigations) chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahir told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said there were five attackers laced with suicide vests, hand-grenades and guns. All were killed during clashes with security forces, he said, adding the attack lasted seven hours.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sadiq Siddique said security forces launched a search operation in the area after the last attacker was killed.

Kabul police spokesman Hashmatullah Stanikzai said a policeman and a Nepalese guard with a private security firm were killed and 13 others, including policemen, foreigners and civilians, were injured in the assault.

Earlier, the Ministry of Interior said two gunmen who were firing and throwing grenades from a building were killed close to the International Organization for Migration.

The heavily armed attackers stormed the headquarters of the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), which provides security for international firms, supply convoys and aid groups.

At the start, a huge car suicide blast, followed by a number of smaller explosions, took place near a hospital run by the National Directorate of Security or NDS, the intelligence service.

Police said there were six or seven attackers exchanging fire with security forces. Some attackers entered buildings and were fighting back.

A seriously injured Italian woman, some injured Nepalese and Afghan police officers were taken to the Emergency-run hospital,  the Italian interior ministry said.

As the gun-fire and bomb blasts continued, authorities ordered UN and international agency workers sent into bomb shelters and lockdowns of embassies and international facilities throughout the city.

The first explosion was so powerful that it was heard at least two miles away. At least four attackers were seen running toward the UN compound.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the main target was a guesthouse where CIA officials were giving training to NDS agents. He said the fighters were laced with heavy and light weapons and were firing on several targets from a building.

Mujahid said the initial blast was a suicide car bomb, which blew down the facility’s outer wall, allowing other attackers to storm inside.“We believe there are massive casualties inflicted on the CIA,” he said.

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