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.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Paul Hollywood: Police asked if I wanted them to arrest Mary Berry for vandalism after she 'defaced' my car
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Tower of London poppies: Tens of thousands of people flock to see installation in its final days
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...