KABUL (Reuters) – Gunmen who raided a authorities constructing within the Afghan capital killed not less than 28 individuals – principally authorities staff – and wounded greater than 20 others in a seven-hour standoff with police that ended on Monday evening, Afghan authorities mentioned.
Others killed included a policeman and three of the attackers who have been shot lifeless by Afghan safety forces, Inside Ministry spokesman Najib Danish mentioned.
The assault started within the afternoon when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a automotive exterior the general public works ministry. Militants then stormed the constructing of the Nationwide Authority for Disabled Individuals and Martyrs’ Households, taking civilians hostage as they fought a gun battle in opposition to Afghan troopers.
Afghan safety forces went from ground to ground of the constructing in an operation to rescue over 350 individuals inside, however needed to train restraint of their operations in opposition to the attackers given the variety of staff there, a senior safety official mentioned.
No militant group instantly claimed accountability for the assault.
Ambulances raced to the scene throughout a lull within the taking pictures, a witness who lives close by advised Reuters. No less than 20 individuals wounded within the clashes have been taken to hospital.
An official working in one other authorities constructing shut by mentioned staff had locked themselves of their workplaces after listening to the explosions and gunfire. Throughout the standoff, the constructing’s second ground caught hearth, native information channels reported.
Assaults on authorities workplaces are frequent and are usually carried out by the Islamist Taliban, who’re preventing to expel overseas forces from strategic provinces, topple the Western-backed authorities and restore their model of hardline Islamic regulation.
The 17-year-old struggle with the Taliban has seen each preventing and diplomacy intensify in current months.
On Thursday, an official mentioned U.S. President Donald Trump was planning to withdraw not less than 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a day after Trump unexpectedly introduced that U.S. troops in Syria could be withdrawn.
The US went to struggle in Afghanistan in 2001 within the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults on the World Commerce Middle in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, searching for to oust the Taliban militants harboring Saudi-raised militant Osama bin Laden, who led plans to hold out the assaults.
At current, American troops make up the majority of the Resolute Assist mission to coach and advise Afghan forces preventing the Taliban and the Islamic State militant group. Others are a part of a U.S.-led counter-terrorism mission.
The prospect of a U.S. drawdown has triggered widespread uncertainty in war-torn Afghanistan.
With safety deteriorating, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday changed his protection and inside ministers with two uncompromising opponents of the Taliban.
Writing by Rupam Jain; Modifying by Richard Balmforth