IS claims Iraqi embassy suicide bomb attack
KABUL: Islamic State (IS) yesterday claimed responsibility for an attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul that began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up at the main gate, allowing gunmen to enter the building and battle security forces.
The assault came a week after 35 people were killed in a Taliban attack on government workers in Kabul and underlines Afghanistan’s precarious security as Washington weighs an overhaul of its policy towards the region.
Afghan security forces confronted three gunmen for hours before the interior ministry announced in mid-afternoon that the attack, in a normally busy business district of the capital, had been suppressed.
“Terrorist attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul over after all terrorists killed,” the ministry said.
IS’s Amaq agency said two attackers had blown up the gate, killing seven guards, and two fighters had broken into the compound.
There was no immediate official word on casualties but an Italian-operated hospital nearby said two injured people had been brought in for treatment.
IS has carried out a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul, mainly targeting members of the mainly Shia Hazara community, and fuelling concerns of a possible spillover into Afghanistan from fighting in Syria and Iraq.
US commanders say IS in Afghanistan has been severely hit by a campaign of drone strikes and joint Afghan and US Special Forces operations, with hundreds of fighters and commanders killed.
However, Afghan security officials say the movement operates in as many as nine provinces.
The Taliban, fighting to re-establish strict Islamic law 16 years after being expelled by a US-led campaign in 2001, have opposed IS. Reuters