Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades and gunfire

Hannah Rogers
May 31, 2018

On Wednesday, the militants launched an attack on the interior ministry in Kabul, demonstrating their ability to carry out strikes in the capital.

Special forces rushed to the scene after the attackers detonated what police said was a auto bomb at the first checkpoint leading to the ministry, then tried to battle their way inside.

Danish said one police officer had been killed and five civilians wounded.

Two of the attackers detonated their explosives, allowing eight others to pass through an outer gate at the ministry where they traded fire with security forces before they were eventually killed. It said this, combined with stepped-up Afghan offensives, "further raises the risk of civilian casualties, insider attacks, US casualties, and other conflict-related violence". United States officials say that the war in Afghanistan is primarily between the two Afghan sides, and that the U.S. can not substitute for direct negotiations between the ruling government in Kabul and the Taliban.

"He is a very thoughtful guy [and] a very analytical person", Mr. Sedney said of Gen. Miller, with whom he worked closely during the two-star general's stint as head of all US special operations forces in Afghanistan in 2013.

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"Provincial cities have also been hit as the Taliban, seeking to reimpose hardline Islamic rule, have stepped up fighting across the country since they announced the beginning of their annual spring offensive in April".

In a statement, the U.S. command in Afghanistan said the strike resulted in "more than 50 casualties", among them the number two Taliban leader in Helmand, Abdul Manan, and several district governors and local leaders in Kandahar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces. The attackers did not manage to enter the main compound.

"The attackers had long hair and started shooting at police force members", said Mohammad Salim, a police soldier.

They were captured for different reasons ranging from cooperating with Afghan security forces to being a member of the local police force, Saleem said.

There have also been numerous attacks on government buildings and at police checkpoints. In January, a Taliban attacker drove an explosives-laden ambulance into the heart of the capital, killing more than 100 people and wounding as many as 235. No group immediately claimed responsibility.

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