Afghanistan: Taliban launch suicide bomb attack on Kabul's presidential palace
A series of explosions rocked the gate leading into the presidential compound, believed to be one of the most secure places in the region
Tuesday 25 June 2013
Suicide attackers battled security forces outside Afghanistan's presidential palace Tuesday in an attack on one of the most secure areas of the Afghan capital, which Taliban have claimed responsibility for.
Half a dozen explosions rocked the gate leading into the presidential palace following at least 45 minutes of on-and-off small arms fire in Kabul.
Gunfire started around 6.30 a.m. inside a heavily guarded area near the east gate leading to the palace next to the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the former Ariana Hotel. US defence officials confirmed that the area was used by the CIA.
Kabul Police Chief Gen. Mohamad Ayub Salangi said three or four gunmen emerged from their SUV and opened fire after being stopped by security forces while attempting to use fake documents to pass through a checkpoint. All gunmen were killed, and one palace security guard was wounded, he said.
A car bomb then exploded as it tried to enter the compound.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid sent a text-message statement claiming responsibility for the attack, saying "we brought death to the enemy". In an emailed message he later claimed all three buildings had been targeted, and that the attack came “near the Ariana Hotel, the important CIA base, and also the presidential palace and Ministry of Defense.” There was no immediate indication that any of the buildings had been hit in the attack, although smoke could be seen rising from the hotel area.
The palace is in a large fortified region of Kabul that also includes the US Embassy and the headquarters for the Nato-led coalition forces.
Journalists hiding behind a religious shrine during the attack had to pull a school boy off the street who had been caught in the open fire on his way to school.
The U.S. Embassy cancelled all consular appointments and advised American citizens in Kabul to stay indoors but had no immediate comment on the incident.
Whilst the Taliban have said that they are willing to open peace talks with the US and Afghanistan government, they have not renounced violence and attacks have continued.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...