Kabul, July 31 (IANS) A suicide bombing followed by gunfire targeting the Iraqi Embassy in the Afghan capital on Monday left an unknown number of casualties, officials said. The Islamic State militant group claimed the attack.
The Interior Ministry said four attackers targeted the Embassy complex in the Shar-e-Naw neighbourhood. A bomber blew himself up at the gate of the Embassy while three others stormed the compound.
“At around 11.10 a.m., four terrorists attacked the Iraqi Embassy. In the beginning, one terrorist detonated his explosive at the first gate of the Embassy and three assailants entered the building,” the Afghan media quoted the Ministry as saying.
The insurgents were wearing police uniforms, Tolo News reported. The Interior Ministry did not give details regarding casualties but said the Embassy staff were moved to a safe location.
Clashes between the insurgents and the security forces erupted, the Ministry said.
The Islamic State said it carried out the attack.
“IS fighters had placed explosives at the Iraqi embassy entrance, and two of them had entered the building where at least seven guards were killed in the ensuing conflict,” said two unauthenticated statements published online by IS-linked Amaq news agency.
Members of Afghan Special Force, known as Crisis Response Unit, cordoned off the area. Pictures on social media showed black plumes of smoke rising into the sky.
The attack came a week after at least 35 people were killed in a suicide attack on government workers in Kabul. Last week’s attack was claimed by the Taliban.
According to the UN, Afghanistan has seen at least 1,662 civilian deaths in the first half of 2017, with about 20 per cent of those in the capital.