Gunmen dressed as United States soldiers attack Afghan Interior Ministry

Gunmen dressed as United States soldiers attack Afghan Interior Ministry

Kerry Wise
June 2, 2018

An attack on the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul was repelled by security forces, Wednesday. "We will release more details later", interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP, in a statement echoed by police.

Two of the attackers detonated their explosives, allowing eight others to pass through an outer gate at the ministry where they traded fire with security forces before they were eventually killed.

In a statement, the U.S. 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.

General Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said seven attackers were killed and clean-up operations are under way.

On Wednesday, Task Force Southwest announced U.S. Forces-Afghanistan conducted a series of strikes on the Taliban over a 10-day period that resulted in the deaths of more than 70 senior Taliban leaders.

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.

The Taliban dismissed the report as "propaganda" and said the attack had hit two civilian houses in Musa Qala, killing five civilians and wounding three.

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Afghan militants have been targeted in an artillery strike, the USA has said, while the Taliban carried out an attack on government forces.

And in northern Samangan province, a provincial hospital director was killed when a sticky bomb attached to his vehicle detonated on Tuesday in the provincial capital, Aybak, according to Sediq Azizi, the provincial spokesman.

He would not identify the figures involved in the negotiations, except to say that they included mid- and senior-level Taliban officials.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to RFE. He said all coalition troops had been accounted for after the attack.

The Taliban claimed the attack.

The Ministry of Interior moved to the new building past year - a building which is close to main military bases including the Ministry of Defense and the National Directorate of Security as well as the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group was responsible for the attack, which took place in the province's capital, Pol-e Alam.