A coordinated assault on the interior ministry building in Afghanistan’s capital ended with all 10 attackers killed.
Two blasts went off outside the ministry compound before assailants attempted to storm the building, triggering fierce clashes with security forces that lasted for hours. At least one policeman was killed in the assault, and five others were wounded.
“The explosion happened very close to the building, and the fighters were attempting to go inside,” Najib Danish, interior ministry spokesman, told Al Jazeera. “The assault is over now, and a search operation is under way.”
Initial findings by the ministry said six attackers were killed.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said it was a complex attack as fighters attempted to enter the heavily fortified ministry.
“There are very high blast walls around the compound to protect it from attacks. There are guards on 24 hours a day,” she said.
Security around Kabul has been on high alert in recent days with more checkpoints and patrols as the government warned of attacks by the Taliban on government installations.
Both the Taliban and ISIL have stepped up attacks on Kabul, making it the deadliest place in the country for civilians in recent months.
Last week the Taliban called on Kabul residents to “keep away” from military and intelligence centres in the city, saying the group had more assaults planned as part of its annual spring offensive.