Coordinated suicide attacks rock Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by agentperry, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Likes Received:
    (AFP) – 2 hours ago
    KABUL — Suicide bombers struck across Afghanistan in coordinated attacks Sunday, with explosions and gunfire rocking the diplomatic enclave in the capital as militants took over a hotel and tried to enter parliament.
    Taliban insurgents claimed the attacks in Kabul with a spokesman saying by mobile phone text message that "a lot of suicide bombers" were involved.
    Outside the capital, attackers also targeted government buildings in Logar province, the airport in Jalalabad, and a police facility in the town of Gardez in Paktia province.
    Witnesses said suicide bombers had taken over the newly-built Kabul Star hotel, which was reportedly on fire in an area which includes a major US military base, the United Nations office and the presidential palace.
    The area was sealed off by security forces.
    Several other attackers tried to enter the Afghan parliament but were engaged by security forces and driven back, an official said.
    They had taken cover in a building near the parliament and fighting was ongoing, parliamentary media officer Qudratullah Jawid told AFP.
    Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoubi Salangi told AFP at least one attacker had been killed as fighting raged in several locations in the capital.
    "Near the parliament, the first floor of a neighbouring building has been taken by police and one terrorist is dead," he said.
    In two other areas of the city militants had taken positions in tall buildings and "are firing", he said.
    A police spokesman said the areas under attack were the diplomatic enclave of Wazir Akbar Khan in the centre, parliament in the west and District Nine in the south.
    South of Kabul in Logar province, several suicide attackers entered government buildings, including the offices of the provincial governor, police headquarters and a US base, deputy provincial police chief, Raees Khan told AFP.
    In eastern Afghanistan two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of Jalalabad airport, wounding several people, General Jahangir Azimi, the airport's head of police said.
    In Gardez, also in the east, multiple Taliban gunmen -- believed to be armed with suicide vests -- launched an attack on a police training centre, Rohullah Samoon the provincial spokesman told AFP.
    They occupied a building overseeing the facility and opened fire with machine-guns, he said, wounding four civilians.
    As the Kabul attacks began, several large explosions and bursts of gunfire were heard near the United States embassy.
    The embassy sounded alarms and warned staff to take cover, AFP reporters heard from their office near the embassy in the Wazir Akbar Khan area, which houses many diplomatic missions.
    The incidents come as Taliban militants step up their attacks as part of their annual spring offensive, heralding the so-called "fighting season".
    In September last year Taliban attacks targeting locations including the US embassy and headquarters of foreign troops in Kabul killed at least 14 during a 19-hour siege.
    And in August, nine people, including a New Zealand special forces soldier, were killed when suicide bombers attacked the British Council cultural centre.
    NATO has about 130,000 troops supporting the government of President Hamid Karzai against the Taliban insurgency, but they will pull out by the end of 2014, handing control of security to Afghan forces.
  3. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Militants are carrying out what they say are co-ordinated attacks on Kabul and other targets in Afghanistan.

    A Taliban spokesman said fighters were attacking embassies in the diplomatic enclave, Nato's HQ and the parliament building in the west of the capital.

    Multiple blasts and gunfire have been heard across Kabul.

    The Taliban spokesman said there were also attacks in Logar and Paktia provinces. There are also reports of suicide attacks in Jalalabad.

    Nato said it had reports of attacks in seven locations in Kabul but there were no reports as yet of any casualties.

    The British embassy was one of the targets, with two rockets hitting a guard tower. A rocket-propelled grenade was also fired into a house used by British diplomats, witnesses told Reuters.

    Smoke billowing
    At least seven large explosions were heard in central Kabul and gunfire erupted from various directions in the heavily barricaded diplomatic zone.

    Continue reading the main story
    At the scene

    Bilal Sarwary
    Insurgents are fighting government forces in seven different locations in Kabul. The diplomatic quarter - home to the British and US embassies as well as Nato's headquarters - has seen multiple explosions, thought to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades.

    It appears that insurgents have taken over a building under construction from where there has been sustained gunfire. No casualties have been reported.

    Afghan security forces are also dealing with an attack near to the national parliament and at an international logistics warehouse in the east of the city.

    The Taliban have said they are behind the attacks. Last week they warned that a new offensive would start soon. The last major attack in Kabul was last September when insurgents attacked.

    Residents were reportedly running for cover and sirens wailing in the Wazir Akbar Khan district.

    Some explosions were also heard near the parliament building in western Kabul and police said it was under attack.

    Reuters said a number of MPs had joined the fight against insurgents, quoting Kandahar lawmaker Naeem Hameedzai Lalai as saying: "I'm the representative of my people and I have to defend them."

    Rockets were reportedly fired at the Russian embassy and smoke was said to be billowing from the direction of the German embassy.

    The US embassy confirmed there were attacks nearby. It said: "The embassy is currently in lockdown... all compound personnel are accounted for and safe."

    Britain's Foreign Office said it was "in close contact with embassy staff".

    The Agence France-Presse news agency reported that the newly built Kabul Star hotel was on fire.

    Kabul resident Idris Ghairat, who lives near the hotel, told the BBC: "I can see the smoke rising. The fighting is around us and I have heard the blasts and gunfire. The security forces have taken position on top of all government buildings close to the hotel."

    Another attack appeared to target a Nato base known as Camp Warehouse on the outskirts of the city, where Turkish and Greek Nato forces were trying to repel militants.

    Provinces targeted
    Continue reading the main story
    Start Quote

    Where was the intelligence to prevent co-ordinated attacks?”

    Mirwais Yasini
    MP from province of Ningarhar
    In pictures: Afghanistan attacks
    The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says there are also reports of a suicide attack that has closed the centre of the eastern city of Jalalabad.

    Police said suicide bombers had attacked the airport there.

    Abdulhadi, who works for the World Food Programme in Jalalabad, told the BBC: "The US air base was under attack. We heard loud explosions and had to take cover in a bunker."

    Militants also took over a government building in Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province, police said, and a gun battle was under way.

    A gun battle was also taking place in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, where militants had taken over another building.

    Mirwais Yasini, an MP from the eastern province of Ningarhar, told BBC News: ''This shows the Taliban don't want peace.

    "They don't want to negotiate. They are not serious. They want to continue the killing of innocent people. But these attacks also show a clear intelligence failure. Where was the intelligence to prevent co-ordinated attacks?''

    There is normally a surge in the number of Taliban attacks at this time of year following a relative lull in winter, when militants find it more difficult to move around.
  4. john70

    john70 Regular Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Vadodara, Gujarat
    2 threads on same topic... MODS can v merge ?

Share This Page