Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades and gunfire

Posted May 31, 2018

Gen. John Nicholson, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon from his office in Kabul, says USA forces "believe it was a Taliban-Haqqani attack, but we're still developing that information". No group immediately claimed responsibility.

The Trump administration has relaxed rules of engagement in Afghanistan in response to growing threats from the Taliban and other insurgent groups and has coupled that with a surge of 3,000 more USA troops and additional American firepower into the country - the linchpin in the White House's regional strategy announced in August. The statement called it an "immersion attack" on the ministry in Kabul.

Officials inside the ministry said the attackers could not breach key buildings as they are located far from the main entrance and there is a wide flat space inside the compound, helping Afghan forces to subdue the attack quickly.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a district headquarters in the northern Takhar province, killing five security forces, according to provincial police spokesman Khalil Asir. All of the suspected Taliban fighters were killed or captured after they attempted to enter the government compound wearing outdated U.S. Army uniforms and driving a stolen Humvee.

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An Afghan official says loud explosions have rocked the area around the Interior Ministry and that militants are exchanging fire with security forces.

The Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State group have launched several attacks in the capital, Kabul, in recent months, killing hundreds of people.

Last week, a USA government watchdog group said the administration's revamped strategy has made little progress against the Taliban insurgency, leaving the country a "dangerous and volatile" place almost 17 years after the US invaded.

Gen Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said seven attackers were killed and that cleanup operations were underway in the attack that left one cop injured as well - implying that the attack was majorly thwarted.

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Khalid Safi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, says those killed were the commander of the police station and the deputy director of traffic police for Logar's capital city, Puli Alim.

Afghanistan was hit by multiple militant attacks across the country Wednesday, as the USA military announced it carried out a successful airstrike targeting top Taliban leaders.

Another report portrayed a gloomy picture about the attack, saying a total of six police officers were killed in the attack, which began when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle close to the police building. He said both bombers were identified, shot and killed by forces.

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