Ministry building under attack in Kabul

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 21, 2019

There was no confirmation from Afghan police and no militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The 18-story Russian-made building is surrounded by the Central Post Office, the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Central Statistics Organization's building.

Hamid said that sporadic gunfire is still heard from the building of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

In the meantime, officials in the ministry of public health have confirmed that the dead bodies of two people have been shifted to the hospitals along with six others who had sustained injures. They were all eventually rescued by commandos.

Afghan authorities gave conflicting reports during the incident.

Police chief General Sayed Mohammad Roshandil said a bomber blew himself up outside the ministry, clearing the way for the other attackers to enter the building and the heavily guarded government compound in central Kabul.

The explosion happened at around 11:40 local time (07:10 GMT), ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said.

"Once again they have created fear and have killed or wounded a number of innocent countrymen", the statement read.

The communication ministry is located in downtown Kabul, about 1.25 miles from the green zone. It is the city's main commercial area and has several large hotels.

The capital has in recent weeks enjoyed a period of relative calm, after a horrific year last year in which it saw a string of attacks including a massive bomb that was concealed in an ambulance and killed more than 100 people. One of the attackers was killed, he told Tolo.

It also comes the week after the Taliban announced its annual spring offensive.

The attack, just days after a planned meeting between Taliban officials and Afghan politicians and civil society representatives in Qatari capital Doha was cancelled, underlined the hurdles facing efforts to reach a peace settlement.

The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed in Afghanistan, where the Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan and 3,804 civilians were killed there past year, according to a United Nations tally.

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