Kabul attack over, assailants killed: Afghan ministry

An explosion followed by gunfire hit the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday close to the communications ministry and one of the city's main hotels officials said. — AP  File

Kabul attack over, assailants killed: Afghan ministry

An explosion has hit the centre of the Afghan capital Kabul and unidentified attackers appear to have entered a multistorey building housing the communications ministry where they were battling security forces, officials have said.

The Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) after an old name for the region that includes Afghanistan, has been active in the country since 2015, fighting the Taliban as well as Afghan and US forces.

There was no claim of responsibility but the Taliban issued a statement denying any involvement.

TRT World's Bilal Sarwary brings more from Kabul.

There was no final casualty total but one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said at least three people had been killed and nine wounded in addition to the attackers. "We send our thoughts and prayers to those affected".

Eyewitnesses say gunfire and explosions are still heard from the compound of the ministry. Six people were injured, according to a health ministry spokesman.

The country's interior ministry said that four civilians and three security force members were killed in the fighting along with four suspects, TOLO News reported.

Both Taliban insurgents and the Daesh are active in eastern Afghanistan and have previously claimed attacks in Kabul.

He said as many as 2,700 government employees and civilians were rescued by security forces after being stuck in several government buildings including the central post office.

Footage on local television showed a small plume at the building, and people climbing out windows on a lower level.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack in a statement, saying the enemies of Afghanistan, by targeting civil servants, are trying to create terror among the people.

The communication ministry is located in downtown Kabul, about 1.25 miles from the green zone.

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