[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Afghan forces foil attack in Kabul
Security troops reportedly thwart assault on government offices in capital, killing at least eight fighters.
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2012 17:52
Afghan forces previously fought a day-long battle with Taliban fighters at a hotel outside Kabul in June [Reuters]

Afghan security forces have ambushed a group of eight fighters during a seven-hour gun battle in the capital, Kabul.

Three cars full of explosives and ammunition were recovered in Thursday's gun battle, which ended with five of the fighters dead.

Afghan authorities said the ambush on a compound east of Kabul came as they thwarted a planned attack by the group in the capital.

Soldiers from Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), launched the raid in darkness, entering a building about an hour after midnight in Kabul's Pul-e-Charkhi district which the fighters were using as a base.

"They aimed to enter a building in Kabul and launch a combined attack on security forces, government offices or offices belonging to foreigners," an NDS spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

Afghan security forces claimed the fighters were loyal to the Taliban, however, the group issued a statement denying that Thursday's operation was against their fighters.

Taliban fighters had previously launched an attack in central Kabul on April 15, occupying a high-rise construction site and pounding the city's diplomatic and business centre with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire until they were killed.

On June 22, Afghan security forces fought a day-long battle with fighters after a Taliban attack on a lakeside hotel on the outskirts of Kabul.

But security forces and NATO-led foreign troops say the sporadic attacks do not point to weaknesses in Afghan forces and intelligence ahead of a withdrawal by most foreign combat troops to be completed by 2014.

252

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.