Four killed in Kabul truck bombing

Kabul, Aug 1 (IANS) One police official and three militants were killed on Monday in a gunfight that erupted after a massive truck bomb struck a guesthouse housing foreigners in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul.

“One militant rammed an explosives laden truck on the North Gate guesthouse whichhouses employees of several foreign companies and logistic firms. Two armed militants tried to enter the facility but police intercepted them. The attackers took position in a nearby building, triggering a gun battle lasting for a while,” Kabul police chief General Abdul Rahman Rahimi said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred at around 1.25 a.m.

“Our initial findings showed that no casualties occurred inside the complex which is located in Dispachari locality of Pul-e-Charkhi area,” the police chief said.

It is not immediately known how many people were inside the complex when the massive blast took place.

The Afghan Special Operation Forces arrived shortly and launched a counter attack. One policeman was killed and three others injured during the exchange of the fire with the militants.

The huge sound of the explosion caused panic among local residents and following the massive blast the city was plunged in darkness for a while.

The targetted building is located in an industrial park. The blast caused a huge crater and severely damaged the surrounding buildings.

Zabiullah Mujahid, the purported Taliban spokesman, told local media that a Taliban suicide squad conducted the complex attack against the foreign guest house and was part of Taliban yearly rebel offensive.

The same hotel came under an attack in July 2013 when five insurgents blasted the perimeter wall open with a truck bomb and made their way into the compound, Tolo News reported.

Five security guards were killed before the attackers were gunned down.

Kabul has repeatedly been the scene of deadly attacks in recent months.

On July 23, at least 80 people were killed and over 300 others injured when the Islamic State attacked a Hazara (ethnic Shia minority group) gathering.

In April, the Taliban launched an attack on the intelligence agencies in the capital which killed 64.



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