(The Washington Post ) Armed men launched a commando-style attack Monday in a major area of the capital where a key police base as well as the Iraqi Embassy are located, in the latest spell of rising violence in Afghanistan.
International security sources reported an unconfirmed claim by ISIS-Khorasan, the self-proclaimed branch of the ISIS for the region, that it carried out the attack.
The target of the attack was not immediately clear. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Najib Danesh, said the Iraqi mission was the target and that all embassy staff were relocated to a safe location.
The attack began with an explosion outside the embassy, authorities said. Then a group of gunmen entered the compound, which is located near the Afghan Public Protection Force and a government guest house.
Additional security forces were dispatched to the area, Danesh said. The gunmen were exchanging fire with police from inside the embassy, he added.
The public protection force was the target of a similar attack by the main insurgent group, the Taliban, a few years ago.
Monday’s attack comes a week after a Taliban suicide bomber killed nearly 30 people in a different part of Kabul. The Taliban militants, viewed as less brutal than the ISIS affiliates, have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks, killing scores of security forces and making gains in various parts of the country.
The attacks underline the fragility of the situation despite the presence of U.S. troops in the country more 15 years since the overthrow of the Taliban from power.