Seven attackers killed as Afghan forces stave off major terror bid
31 May, 2018, 21:00 | Author: Jason Torres
Officials said Wednesday a suicide bomber struck outside the Interior Ministry in the capital, allowing gunmen to pass through an outer gate where they traded fire with security forces, who eventually killed all the attackers.
Another four policemen and eight civilians, including two children, were wounded in the Logar attack early Wednesday, said Shah Poor Ahmadzai, spokesman for the provincial police chief.
It appeared to be a rare victory for Afghan security forces, who have struggled to secure the capital in recent months.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, but did not provide evidence for their claim. No one immediately claimed the attack.
Meanwhile, the US military announced Wednesday that an artillery strike killed more than 50 senior Taliban commanders in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.
Afghan security forces patrol, after recapturing control of the city from Taliban militants, in Farah.
The Taliban have held secret meetings with Afghan officials to discuss a ceasefire, the U.S. military says.
Some Taliban leaders are participating in private talks with Afghanistan government officials to jumpstart peace talks, even as fighting endures in the 16-year war, the top USA commander in the country said Wednesday.
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"The attackers had long hair and started shooting at police force members", said Mohammad Salim, a police soldier.
"This was a civilian residential area, which had no connection with the Taliban", spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said in a statement.
Comparing the situation to Colombia - where a 50-year civil war led to a peace treaty - Gen Nicholson said violence and progress could coexist. The Taliban has stepped up the fighting despite a surge of US military activity as part of Washington's new war strategy set in motion last summer. "Also a change in US tactics ... more targeted strikes, special operation raids, etc., is likely to be driven by the conditions on the ground", he said.
The Ministry of Interior moved to the new building previous year - a building which is close to main military bases including the Ministry of Defense and the National Directorate of Security as well as the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Danish said 10 attackers were involved; three with suicide vests and seven others armed with weapons and wearing military style uniforms. The impact would be felt "beyond Helmand province" and was further evidence of the more aggressive stance taken by American troops in Afghanistan following the revised strategy approved by President Trump.
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