Islamic State assault on spy training centre in Kabul ends as attackers killed

The attackers were hiding in a structure close to the training centre of the National Directorate of Security in Afshar area and were targeting the centre, eyewitnesses said.

world Updated: Dec 18, 2017 17:52 IST
Agencies, Kabul
Afghanistan,terrorism,Kabul attack
Afghan security personnel and US forces arrive at the site of an attack near an intelligence training centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 18, 2017. An Afghan official said the attack is underway in the capital where gunmen have raided and occupied a partially constructed building near the intelligence training centre. (AP)

An assault on an Afghan intelligence facility claimed by the Islamic State ended with the police killing the attackers on Monday, an official said.

“The attack has ended. Two attackers were killed...only two police were wounded,” said Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid, adding there were no civilian casualties.

The terrorists stormed a building under construction near the training centre of the National Directorate of Security in Afshar area, triggering a gunbattle with security forces as detonations and shooting reverberated from the area.

“Around 10.10 am, a group of armed attackers entered an under-construction building in (the) NDS training centre in Afshar area of Kabul,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. Initial reports indicated that the attackers were wearing police uniforms.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. “Two IS attackers raid the Afghan intelligence centre in Kabul,” the jihadists’ propaganda arm Amaq reported.

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of an attack at an intelligence training centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 18, 2017. (AP)

Tolo News channel reported that the attackers used heavy weapons against the security forces.

Besides the NDS facility, a private university is also located in the area where the attack occurred.

Kabul has become one of the deadliest places in war-torn Afghanistan for civilians in recent months, as the resurgent Taliban and increasingly the IS step up their attacks, targeting security installations and mosques.

Security in Kabul has been ramped up since May 31 when a massive truck bomb ripped through the city’s diplomatic quarter, killing about 150 and wounding around 400 people, mostly civilians. No group claimed responsibility for that attack, which the government has blamed on the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network.

Monday’s attack represented another blow to beleaguered Afghan forces. The Taliban have targeted military installations in recent months, including a spate of attacks in October that killed around 150 people.

Afghan forces, already beset by desertions and corruption, have seen casualties soar to what a US watchdog has described as “shockingly high” levels since NATO forces officially ended their combat mission in 2014.

Morale has been further eroded by long-running fears that the militants have insider help - everything from infiltrators in the ranks to corrupt Afghan forces selling equipment to the Taliban.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 13:43 IST