The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in Kabul on the main training center of the Afghan intelligence service (NDS), whose record remained unknown more than three hours after its outbreak.
According to the Interior Ministry, “three attackers are involved” in the attack of this four-story building, located within the compound of the NDS complex.
The IS, in a brief message of claim from his propaganda agency Amaq, only mentions “two suicide bombers”.
The assault began “around 10:00 am (00:45 am in Montreal) this morning: a group of armed assailants attacked a building at the NDS training center in Kabul,” said ministry spokesman Najib Danish. “We launched our operations, the fighting continues.”
His deputy, Nasrat Rahim, reported “heavy and light weapons fire” heard in this neighborhood near Kabul University.
“There are three attackers involved. Operations are continuing but the first floor has been cleared and the security forces are making their way to the other floors, “he told AFP at 9:00 GMT (4:00 am in Montreal).
An AFP photographer saw two ambulances passing by. But AFP teams and the press in general are kept at a distance of more than one kilometer from the sector, completely cordoned off by the security forces. Reinforcements were seen heading towards the site.
The largest center of the NDS
According to a security source, the training center “80” is the largest of the NDS: this is where all the agents of the Afghan intelligence services are trained.
Naweed, a student who was going to school told AFP the suddenness of the attack: “I heard the shots of RPG (rocket launchers) and firearms, the police arrived on place very quickly and blocked the streets. Nobody can go home, “he said.
Witnesses mentioned on Twitter the sound of an “explosion followed by fire”, a classic scenario of the complex attacks by insurgents against their targets, the first explosion to open the way to armed commandos.
But officials have denied any major explosion, saying it may be RPG shots.
The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the operation, saying that “two suicide bombers from ‘Islamic State’ attacked the Afghan intelligence center in Kabul,” without further details.
The center of the NDS had already been targeted in September by the explosion of a car bomb in front of its main entrance which had three wounded according to the Interior Ministry.
The latest attack in Kabul, perpetrated by a suicide bomber on November 16, targeted a political meeting and killed at least 14 people. The operation was claimed by the Islamic State group.
The Afghan capital is regularly the target of armed operations by insurgents: at least eighteen massive attacks have been identified by AFP since the beginning of the year, including that of May 31 in the diplomatic district .
The explosion of a tanker truck loaded with more than a ton and a half of explosive had left 150 dead and 400 wounded.