Suicide bombing, gunfire rock Kabul

An Afghan policeman stands at the site of a roadside bomb attack. – File photo by AP

KABUL: A suicide car-bombing followed by several other explosions and gunfire rocked western Kabul around dawn on Monday, police and witnesses said, as Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack.

A large pall of smoke was rising from the vicinity of a police complex on the road to the parliament and the road had been sealed off, residents in the area told AFP.

A local police official told AFP the first large explosion was a suicide car bomb and was followed by several other blasts and gunfire.

“A group of terrorists, two or three or four, tried to enter the traffic police building, Kabul CID Chief Mohammad Zahir said.

“Two of the bombers were shot dead at the entrance and one has likely entered the building and is shooting sporadically. Our security forces are in the area.” A witness said the top floor of the building was on fire.

He said the initial explosion “very very big — it was massive”, and was followed by several other explosions and gunfire.

“There are firefighter trucks, ambulances and police all over the place.

The gunfire comes from that direction and the building’s top floors are on fire,” he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP in an SMS message that the insurgents were behind the attack.

“Today at around 5:00 am a large number of fedayeen (suicide bombers) entered a building in Dehmazang and are attacking an American training centre, a police centre and other military centres and have caused heavy casualties on the enemy,” he said.

Last Wednesday, a squad of suicide bombers attacked the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in heavily fortified central Kabul, killing at least one guard and wounding dozens of civilians.

All six attackers were killed in that brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

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