Kabul (AFP) – At least eight attackers died in a wave of attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, police said as fighting continued to rage in parts of the city.
Five civilians and more than a dozen members of the Afghan security forces including the head of the Kabul’s quick reaction police force were wounded, security officials told AFP.
Armed with machineguns, rockets and suicide vests an unknown number of Taliban rebels struck key locations in Kabul, prompting a stand-off with security forces that continued throughout the afternoon and evening.
One of the three areas attacked — the Jalalabad road east of the city where there are several foreign military bases — “has been cleared” and four rebels were killed, the capital’s police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said.
Four other attackers, three near the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic enclave and one near the parliament were also killed, the police added.
Afghan military spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi confirmed the killings on the Jalabad road but said four had died. A fifth was captured, he said, adding that Afghan army commandos supported police in the operation.
The army commandos also helped police in Logar province, killing three attackers, Azimi said. He said fighting in a second location in the province was still underway.
In Kabul, “General Ahmad Fahim Qayem the commander of quick reaction force and ten police were wounded when they were attacked by militants near parliament,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
The police chief said five civilians and an unknown number of security forces were also wounded in the attacks.
The Taliban, the main insurgent group behind the 10-year-old insurgency claimed the attacks, saying they were the start of their annual “spring offensive”.
Rebels simultaneously attacked government buildings in three eastern towns in Logar, Nangarhar and Paktya provinces. The interior ministry earlier in the day said a total of 19 insurgents involved in Sunday’s attacks had died across the country.