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Taliban militants launch ATTACK in Kabul, other cities

Last updated on: April 15, 2012 22:08 IST

Taliban militants launch ATTACK in Kabul, other cities

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Taliban militants unleashed a wave of coordinated suicide and gun attacks in Afghanistan on Sunday targeting the diplomatic area, North Atlantic Treaty bases, and the Parliament at seven locations in Kabul and three other eastern cities.

An External Affairs Ministry statement, issued in Delhi, said all Indian citizens were safe.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police Director General Ranjit Sinha said there was no threat to the Indian embassy as it was located three to four km away from the scene of the attack. All Indian installations were also safe, he said.

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Image: Armed Afghan police climb onto the back of a vehicle after gunmen launched multiple attacks in Kabul
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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Taliban claimed responsibility for the multiple attacks by an unknown number of its men, who were armed with light and heavy weapons and grenades and came from different directions in central Kabul.

NATO said it had reports of attacks in seven locations in Kabul, where fighting was still going on several hours after the start of the assault. The targets included a newly built five-star hotel.

"So far, 11 men from Afghan National Police have been wounded by the attacks in Kabul," said Siddiq Sidiqq, the spokesman of Afghanistan's interior ministry.

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Image: Smoke rises from a tower belonging to the British embassy after gunmen launched multiple attacks in Kabul
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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According to some reports, 24 people had been injured and seven militants had been killed.

The militants attacked the Kabul Star Hotel in Wazir Akhbar Khan area of the capital. Some of them tried to enter the Afghan parliament by firing rockets but were engaged by security forces and driven back, officials said.

The militants also struck at cities in three provinces -- an the airport in Jalalabad, Logar and Paktia.

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Image: An armed Afghan police officer takes his position after gunmen launched multiple attacks in Kabul
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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"I am on the spot and hearing the gunfire being traded between the suicide bombers and Afghan forces. I have heard several explosions," a correspondent reported from the scene of the attack.

A number of Taliban militants took positions at a newly-built building at the Shahr-e-Naw, a neighborhood of Kabul. They battled with Afghan forces for several hours after the militants began assaulting Western embassies.

The building is located close to the American embassy, Turkey embassy, presidential palace, Iranian embassy, ISAF's headquarters, German embassy, British embassy and various other diplomatic offices.

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Image: Afghan men stand around the wreckage of a car used by a suicide attacker in Jalalabad province
Photographs: Parwiz/Reuters
Tags: ISAF , STRIKE , Kabul , Taliban

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoubi Salangi was quoted as saying that one attacker had been killed near the parliament

In a text message to the reporters, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said, "Today afternoon, at 1 pm, suicide bombings are happening by our Mujaheddeen at the ISAF headquarters, Parliament building, and other diplomatic offices in Kabul, and our enemies got many casualties."

Outside the capital, militants attacked government buildings in Logar province, the airport in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, and a police facility in the town of Gardez in Paktya province.

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Image: US troops arrive at the scene after gunmen launched multiple attacks in Kabul
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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At least three attackers were killed in Kabul, and three others died when they detonated their car bomb in Jalalabad -- injuring several people -- officials and police said.

Mujahed said scores of suicide bombers were assaulting the capital and three other provinces of Paktia, Nangarhar and Logar.

In Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, militants launched separate attacks on a military airfield used by NATO and Afghan forces, as well as a smaller NATO base.

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Image: An Afghan policeman takes position at the site of an attack in Kabul
Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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Taliban suicide attackers STRIKE in Kabul

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The Kabul attack began with explosions in the central neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan, where a NATO base and a number of embassies, including that of the United States, are located. Smoke rose over the skyline as sirens wailed.

Mujahid said the attacks were targeting NATO headquarters, the British and German embassies, the Afghan parliament building, the Serena and Kabul Star hotels, and sites along Darulaman road, where the Russian embassy is located.

A blast occurred near parliament as militants took over a nearby building and opened fire.

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Image: Smoke rises from the site of an attack in Paktia province
Photographs: Reuters

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Taliban militants launch ATTACK in Kabul

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At the same time, Taliban fighters launched assaults on Afghan and NATO installations in the capital cities of Nangarhar, Logar and Paktia provinces, he said.

"In all these attacks, tens of mujahedeen fighters equipped with light and heavy weapons, suicide vests, RPGs, rockets, heavy machine guns and hand grenades are attacking their targets," Mujahid said.

The American embassy, in a statement, said that there were attacks "in the vicinity of the US embassy."

The German foreign ministry said there was some damage to the grounds of the German embassy, but it did not appear that anyone had been hurt.

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Image: A member of the Afghan security force looks at a piece of debris from a rocket propelled grenade which was found after gunmen launched multiple attacks in Kabul
Photographs: Reuters

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