10 killed, 14 injured in Taliban-coordinated attack in Kabul

Beijing, May 25 (Xinhua-ANI): Ten people, including six attackers, were killed and 14 others wounded in Taliban coordinated attack on a UN-affiliated organization on Friday evening, authorities said Saturday.

"The Kabul police investigation indicates four people including one policeman, two security guards and a six-year-old child were killed and 14 others including five foreign nationals wounded in the complex suicide bombing in Kabul on Friday," the Kabul police said in a statement issued here Saturday.

The attack began at around 4 p.m. local time when a Taliban suicide car bombing targeted the entrance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) compound in central Kabul.

A thick black smoke was seen above the area for hours as four other back-to back explosion followed the first blast, a resident Mohammad Nazir told Xinhua.

Shortly after the blast, five other militants seized the building and launched a gunfight with Afghan security forces who arrived at the scene.

"The militants also fired rocket propelled grenade against security forces," Nazir, 25, said.

"The firing lasted for more than six hours and the building was destroyed. The windowpanes of several houses nearby were shattered in the attack. Many people were injured in their houses because of shattered glasses caused by the force of the explosions," Nazir said.

"The police counter-attack lasted for hours since the security forces tried to prevent civilian casualties in the operation," the Kabul police said.

"Three IOM staff members were injured, one seriously. A staff member from the International Labour Organization was also injured, " the UN mission in the country-United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) confirmed in a statement.

Following the attack, the Taliban insurgent group claimed the responsibility for the incident.

Earlier on Saturday, a would-be suicide bomber was killed when his explosive jacket went off prematurely in house in Shah Shaeed area in southeastern Kabul, the police said and the obvious target of the attacker remained unclear.

"The explosion killed the bomber on the spot and damaged the house but no other people were hurt in the explosion," the Kabul police said.

On May 16, in Shah Shaeed area, six U.S. national including two soldiers and nine Afghan civilians were killed and over 50 wounded in a huge suicide car bombing.

The nationality of two guards killed in the attack was not known, however, they are said to be Nepalese working for a security firm providing security for diplomatic complexes.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of UNAMA Jan Kubis and the top U.S. and NATO commander Joseph F. Dunford sternly condemned the attack.

"The Taliban have claimed responsibility, alleging that their target was a 'military rest house'," Kubis said.

"The insurgents have repeatedly shown little regard for innocent civilians and the future of Afghanistan as demonstrated by attacks such as these. Their actions fly in the face of their claim that they are looking to avoid civilian casualties," said Dunford in a statement.

The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, launched late last month an annual rebel offensive against Afghan and about 100,000 NATO-led forces stationed in the country.

The Taliban also urged civilians to stay away from official gatherings, military convoys and centers regarded as the legitimate targets by militants besides warning people not to support the government and foreign troops.

The latest bombing attack underscores the challenges that Afghan army and police face as they struggle to provide security across the country before assuming the full operational lead by July this year and the departure of all U.S. and NATO forces by the end of next year. (Xinhua-ANI)

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