Taliban launches attack on Afghan gov’t agency

afgan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the militant assault on an Afghan government security compound in Kabul (all times local):

4:15 a.m.

The U.N. Security Council has condemned the Taliban attack in Kabul “in the strongest terms” and urged that those involved be brought to justice.

In Tuesday’s attack, militants stormed an Afghan government security agency with a suicide car bomb and gunfire, killing 28 people and wounding hundreds in a sign of the insurgency’s continued strength.

The Security Council said in a statement it condemned all forms of terrorism and noted the dangers that the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group present in Afghanistan.

“No violent or terrorist acts can reverse the Afghan-led process along the path towards peace, democracy and stability,” the statement said.

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11 p.m.

The White House has condemned the Taliban attack in Kabul and urged the insurgent group to choose the “pathway of peace.”

In Tuesday’s attack, militants stormed an Afghan government security agency with a suicide car bomb and gunfire, killing 28 people and wounding hundreds in a sign of the insurgency’s continued strength.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the United States remains “committed to supporting the Afghan people and their government.”

He says the U.S. also calls “on the Taliban to pursue a pathway of peace instead of continuing a military campaign responsible for the senseless death of Afghan civilians.”

Earnest added that U.S. supports the Afghan security forces as they work to promote peace and stability in the region and as both sides counter the “threat of terrorism that affects all of us.”

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5:45 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent his condolences to the victims and their families following the Taliban attack on a government security agency in Kabul that killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 320.

Ban spoke during a visit to The Hague, Netherlands. He strongly condemned the assault in the Afghan capital on Tuesday and said “there is no justification whatsoever for attacking civilian people as well as security people.”

Ban also urged the international community to cooperate in tacking violent extremist, saying, “we must fight against these terrorist attacks.”

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4 p.m.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan and the commander of international forces in the country are condemning Tuesday’s Taliban attack on a government security agency in Kabul.

“Today’s attack shows the insurgents are unable to meet Afghan forces on the battlefield and must resort to these terrorist attacks,” said Resolute Support Commander, Gen. John W. Nicholson. “We strongly condemn the actions of Afghanistan’s enemies and remain firmly committed to supporting our Afghan partners and the National Unity Government.”

In separate statement the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the Taliban attack in Kabul.

“This attack shows the devastation caused by the use of explosive devices in urban areas and once more demonstrates complete disregard for the lives of Afghan civilians,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “The use of high explosives in civilian populated areas, in circumstances almost certain to cause immense suffering to civilians, may amount to war crimes.”

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2:45 p.m.

The United States Embassy is condemning the Taliban attack in central Kabul that killed at least 28 and wounded more than 200 people as a senseless act of violence. It says it supports the Afghan government’s peace process to end such violence.

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1:45 p.m.

Afghan officials have raised the death toll from a coordinated Taliban attack on a government security agency to 28.

Kabul Police Chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi told reporters Tuesday that another 327 people were wounded in the assault — which began with a powerful suicide car bomb attack on the agency compound gates. A group of armed militants then entered the compound and waged a prolonged battle with government security forces.

The agency is similar to the U.S. Secret Service, providing personal protection for high-ranking government officials. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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1 p.m.

Afghan officials have announced that a gun battle with Taliban militants on the grounds of a key government security agency has ended.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said Tuesday that at least one of the attackers was killed in the battle. A Public Health Ministry spokesman said a total of seven people were killed and 327 wounded in the coordinated assault on a government agency similar to the U.S. Secret Service, providing personal protection for high-ranking government officials.

The casualty figures are expected to rise.

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12:30 p.m.

Afghan officials have increased the casualty figures from a coordinated militant assault on a key government security agency compound in the capital, Kabul. Ismail Kawasi, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that so far 208 wounded people, including women and children, have been brought to area hospitals. An Interior Ministry statement said that there have been fatalities but it was still unclear how many people were killed.

The casualty figures are expected to rise as a gun battle was still underway early Tuesday afternoon in Kabul.

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9 a.m.

Armed militants in Afghanistan have staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in the capital Tuesday morning, wounding nearly 200 people. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The attack, including a suicide car bombing, appears to have targeted an agency similar to the U.S. Secret Service, providing personal protection for high-ranking government officials.

Ismail Kawasi, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said so far 198 wounded people have been brought to area hospitals.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said Tuesday that the suicide attack was followed by an assault by armed militants. The area has been surrounded by government forces and dozens of ambulances have rushed to the scene.

“Security forces are in a fight with an unknown number of armed insurgents right now,” Mohammad Afzel, a police officer at the site of the attack, told The Associated Press.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, and said that a number of their fighters were currently inside the compound battling with security forces.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks recently since announcing the start of their spring offensive last week.

President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning the attack and saying it, “clearly shows the enemy’s defeat in face-to-face battle with Afghan security forces.”
Source:http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-the-latest-taliban-launches-attack-on-afghan-govt-agency-2016-4

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