Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ISIS attacks Iraq embassy in Kabul. 2 Staff, 4 terrorist killed

Aug 01 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
IS attacks Iraq embassy in Kabul

Two Af Staffers & 4 Militants Killed, Says Govt; Experts Call It `Revenge For Mosul'
The Islamic State terror group targeted the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday , with a suicide bomber blowing himself up outside the gates, followed by three gunmen who stormed into the building. The assault set off a four-hour encounter that ended after Afghan security forces killed all the attackers.Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said two Afghan employees of the Iraq embassy died in the attack and three policemen were injured.There were conflicting reports of casualties, with a witness saying he saw bodies of at least two policemen lying on the road outside the embassy soon after the attack began.
The Iraqi embassy is located in a part of the city known as Shahr-e-Now, which lies outside the so-called “green zone“ where most embassies and diplomatic missions are located and which is heavily fortified with a phalanx of guards and giant cement blast walls.
IS said its fighters had killed seven guards. The IS attack was likely meant to distract attention from the militants' massive losses in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks. Also, IS said only two of its followers were involved in the attack, not four as officials said. Analysts said the attack would be seen as a warning to Baghdad after it pushed IS out of Mosul.
Danish also said that all the embassy staffers were safe but the building had suffered extensive damage with windows broken and several rooms badly burnt. It wasn't until the attack ended that officials realised two of their Afghan staff had died in the daring assault.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and said it was the government's responsibility to provide protection to international missions. In Baghdad, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal condemned the assault as a “terrorist attack“.
The attack began with a big explosion that rocked central Kabul shortly before noon, followed by gunfire that lasted for several hours, and two or three more subsequent large explosions. Police and armoured vehicles quickly cordoned off the area. The interior ministry said a suicide bomber first started the attack, blowing himself up at the embassy gate, after which three attackers stormed inside.
Afghan security forces were quickly deployed to the scene, rescuing all the embassy diplomats and employees and taking them to safety . Abdullah, a police officer in the area, said the gunfire was initially intense but later became more sporadic. More than an hour into the attack, witnesses reported hearing another powerful explosion and said they saw black smoke billowing skyward. “The explosion was so strong. I was so afraid,“ said Maryam, a local. AP

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