Afghanistan Interior Ministry attack in Kabul as ISIS and Taliban continue assault

Afghanistan Interior Ministry attack in Kabul as ISIS and Taliban continue assault

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.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Najib Danish, said according to their initial findings, one police force member was killed, and five others were wounded in the attack. That facility was attacked in February by suicide bombers in ambulances who killed more than 100 people, many of them police officers. The Amaq statement did not provide the names or specify the number of attackers.

U.S. Forces in Afghanistan reported that more than 50 Taliban senior leaders, including the deputy Taliban shadow governor of Helmand, was killed in a targeted strike using rocket artillery.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, says seven attackers were killed in Wednesday's shootout and that cleanup operations are underway. "Within 24 hours of the attack, these Afghan forces, supported by the Afghan air force, and enabled by the United States, drove the enemy out of the city and into surrounding districts, where they pursued them for a week", Nicholson said.

Later Wednesday, the American commander of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan cast doubt the attack was the work of IS, saying instead there are indications the Taliban-allied Haqqani network was behind it.

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Another early morning attack struck the capital of Kandahar province, when a suicide vehicle bomb blast killed three civilians and wounded 13 others, a provincial official told reporters.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a district headquarters in the northern Takhar province, killing five security forces, according to provincial police spokesman Khalil Asir.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks against Afghan security forces as well as government officials since the announcement of their spring offensive in April across the country.

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

Afghanistan was hit by multiple militant attacks across the country Wednesday, as the US military announced it carried out a successful airstrike targeting top Taliban leaders. The Taliban have threatened to attack voter registration centres. "We were told to stay inside our offices as the compound was attacked", one ministry employee told AFP earlier.

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