Armed militants in Afghanistan staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in the capital today, 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 US 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.”