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
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.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teaching Assistant required in ...