Kabul (AFP/PTI): A squad of suicide bombers attacked the national intelligence agency headquarters in heavily-fortified central Kabul Wednesday 16 January, killing at least two guards and wounding dozens of civilians, officials said.
Five attackers were killed in the brazen midday attack on the National Directorate of Security, which is playing an increasingly important role in the war against Taliban insurgents as NATO forces prepare to withdraw.
The Taliban claimed responsibility in a text message to AFP, saying “a large number of intelligence workers were killed and wounded”.
“There were five attackers involved. The first detonated a car bomb at the gate, the other four were shot dead by police and NDS guards as they approached,” Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said, adding that about 30 civilians were wounded.
A senior police officer said two guards from the National Directorate of Security intelligence agency were killed and others wounded.
A second car full of explosives was found nearby and defused.
The huge explosion was heard throughout Kabul’s diplomatic district, and witnesses said windows were shattered in nearby Chicken Street, a popular shopping destination for Westerners.
AFP journalists at the scene said it was swarming with security forces moments after the attack.
An NDS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed concern over how the attackers had managed to penetrate one of the most heavily-guarded areas of the capital, which includes the police HQ and the Interior Ministry.