Taliban launches Kabul attack


Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up and another two have died in clashes in central Kabul between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces, an interior ministry spokesman said.


The two attackers killed by security forces had holed themselves up in a building in central Kabul, Zemarai Bashary said.

“We can confirm that four suicide bombers have been killed,” he told Al Jazeera television.

He said some militants were still inside the Ariana Cinema, shooting at security forces who had surrounded the building.

“We suspect there are more bombers in the cinema building,” he said.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Afghan security forces had secured roads in the city.


Gunfire and explosions have rung out across Kabul since the morning rush hour, when an unknown number of Taliban-linked militant stormed buildings in the centre of town and began firing.

At least two shopping centres are on fire, amid reports that militants have blown themselves up.

Al Jazeera television reported that the Serena Hotel, Kabul’s only five-star hotel, is also on fire.

Civilians wounded in attacks

Afghanistan’s health ministry said 13 people, most of them civilians, had been wounded in the fighting.

“At this time I can tell you that 13 people have been wounded, most of them civilians, and have been evacuated to our hospitals,” ministry spokesman Ahmad Farid Rahid said.

“Most of them are civilians but they also include security personnel,” he said.

The fighting has brought central Kabul to a standstill as Afghan police and military snipers take up positions on buildings around the central Pashtunistan Square.

US condemnation

The US has condemned the attack as a “desperate” and “ruthless” act by the Taliban, but warned that more assaults should be expected in the war-torn country.

“It’s not surprising that the Taliban do this sort of thing,” US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke told reporters in New Delhi. “They are desperate people, they are ruthless.”

He added: “The people doing this certainly will not survive the attack, nor will they succeed. But we can expect this sort of thing on a regular basis.”

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