Afghan Militants Who Attacked Kabul Were Wearing US Army Uniforms
31 May, 2018, 21:03 | Author: Bert Pena
An apparent auto bomb and an exchange of gunfire between militants and security forces near the Interior Ministry building in Kabul is the latest in a series of attacks in the Afghan capital in recent weeks.
Ten assailants attacked the ministry after an explosives-laden vehicle detonated at the front gate of the compound, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.
Another four policemen and eight civilians, including two children, were wounded in the Logar attack early Wednesday, said Shah Poor Ahmadzai, spokesman for the provincial police chief.
That facility was attacked in February by suicide bombers in ambulances who killed more than 100 people, many of them police officers.
The Taliban and the Afghan IS affiliate have both carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Shiite minority, that have killed hundreds of people in recent years. The Amaq statement did not provide the names or specify the number of attackers.
The Trump administration has relaxed rules of engagement in Afghanistan in response to growing threats from the Taliban and other insurgent groups and has coupled that with a surge of 3,000 more US troops and additional American firepower into the country - the linchpin in the White House's regional strategy announced in August.
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Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said it was a complex attack as fighters attempted to enter the heavily fortified ministry.
Sources have said National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives were prevented by police force members from entering the area to help end the attack.
Separately, the US military said Wednesday that more than 50 senior Taliban commanders were killed when an artillery rocket system struck a meeting in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan on May 24. A suicide vehicle bomb was set off at the gates before three gunmen in suicide vests stormed the compound. The Taliban have threatened to attack voter registration centers.
Under surveillance by the Marines, the Taliban fighters returned to their Helmand stronghold, a center for poppy cultivation. A provincial official who spoke to Stars and Stripes on condition of anonymity confirmed that Afghan security forces had withdrawn from the governor's compound and police headquarters.
There have also been numerous attacks on government buildings and at police checkpoints.
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