Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades & gunfire

Militants attack Afghan ministry with bomb, grenades & gunfire

Gunmen dressed as USA soldiers set off a auto bomb and then tried to shoot their way into the Afghan Interior Ministry before being killed by government forces Wednesday, security officials said.

Authorities said all 10 attackers and one police officer died.

Hundreds of Afghan forces have been killed in the Taliban attacks, raising further questions about the viability of holding long-delayed parliamentary and provincial council elections slated for October ahead of next year's presidential vote. This led to a skirmish, and one of the attackers used an explosive vest in the attack.

In a statement, the USA command in Afghanistan said the strike resulted in "more than 50 casualties", among them the number two Taliban leader in Helmand, Abdul Manan, and several district governors and local leaders in Kandahar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces.

Five people were injured in the attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan and was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Three attackers, wearing military uniforms, detonated explosives while the others were shot by government troops, officials said. His spokesman, Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, said earlier that more than 50 were killed but that an exact count has not yet been established. "We've seen this in other conflicts, such as Colombia, where the two sides were talking about peace at the same time that they were fighting each other on the battlefield".

Wednesday's attack came hours after Taliban suicide bombers stormed a police station in Logar province south of Kabul, where three officers were killed. A suicide auto bomb was set off at the gates before three gunmen in suicide vests stormed the compound.

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In a statement Wednesday, the USA command in Afghanistan said the strikes against those behind a recent attack in the Helmand provincial capital of Farah resulted in "more than 50 casualties". Among the wounded were two children, the media reported.

Security around Kabul has been on high alert in recent days with more checkpoints and patrols as the government warned of attacks by the Taliban on government installations.

In the meantime, a police official said on condition of anonymity "that three policemen including PD1 police chief and three traffic police were killed in the attack and five civilians were wounded".

Image copyright EPA Image caption Cleaning up in Kabul - the capital keeps getting hit by attacks Who are the Taliban?

The militants traded fire with security force before they were killed within minutes.

On Tuesday, Taliban fighters overran the center of Chora district in the southern province of Uruzgan.

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