Suicide bomber, gunmen attack Afghan gov’t building

Associated Press

Kabul, Afghanistan –A suicide bomber exploded his car outside a building housing the government’s department for martyrs and disabled persons on Monday moments before gunmen stormed the building armed with automatic rifles and explosive devises, Kabul police chief spokesman Basir Mujahid said.

Six people have been reported injured and a police officer has been killed in the attack, said Mujahid. Three of the gunmen were killed in a shootout with police. The attack occurred as workers were preparing to leave for the day, said Mujahid.

Deputy Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said 200 employees have been evacuated and are safe, but several other employees were still trapped inside the building. Rahimi couldn’t say how many gunmen remained inside the building.

Police have cordoned off the area in the east of the capital Kabul as they try to gain control of the situation. Kabul police spokesman, Mujahid said heavily armed police are going floor to floor searching the building to find the remaining gunmen. He said they received a phone call from employees, who were still trapped inside the building. They appeared to be calling from a safe place. They were told to wait until they receive word from police that it is safe to leave. Meanwhile the sound of gunfire had stopped as darkness settled on the capital, said Mujahid.

Several apartment buildings as well as a government public works department building are located in the same eastern Kabul neighborhood where the attack occurred. Eyewitnesses reported that a portion of the government building was in flames and several smaller explosions were heard amid the ongoing gunbattle.

No one claimed responsibility but both the Taliban and the local Islamic State affiliate have carried out brazen daytime attacks in the capital.