Militants attack Kabul police stations

KABUL • Suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparent coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations yesterday, with security forces still searching buildings for some of the assailants.

A series of loud explosions rocked the Afghan capital in the late morning and were quickly followed by volleys of gunfire as police engaged in fierce battles with militants.

At least two officers were killed and half a dozen civilians were wounded in the attacks, one of which was still ongoing last night, police and health officials said.

After an easing of attacks in Kabul in February and March, Taleban and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have stepped up assaults in the city in recent weeks.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the first attack on a police station in a heavily Shi'ite-populated neighbourhood in the city's west, which police spokesman Hashmatullah Estanakzai said had ended.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the station, triggering an intense gunfight. "Two attackers were killed. Two policemen also lost their lives and two policemen are wounded," police said.

Ariana TV footage showed a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky while a photo posted on Twitter purportedly of the west Kabul police station showed a building on fire.

The second attack took place in front of a police station in Shar-e-Naw neighbourhood in downtown Kabul, where a "search and clearing operation" was carried out last night.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline 'Militants attack Kabul police stations'. Print Edition | Subscribe