IS claims Iraqi em­bassy sui­cide bomb at­tack

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

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

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