Kabul – Suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparently coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations on Wednesday, killing at least five people, with security forces still searching for assailants as the city braces for more violence.
A series of loud explosions rocked the Afghan capital in the late morning and were quickly followed by volleys of gunfire as police engaged in fierce battles with militants. Another explosion was heard in the late afternoon.
The Taliban and Islamic State group each claimed responsibility for one of the attacks.
At least five people were killed and 16 were wounded in the attacks, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. The health ministry said seven people were killed and 17 wounded.
Police were among the casualties, including two of the dead, Danish told Tolo News.
IS claimed the first attack on a police station in the city’s west, which interior minister Wais Barmak said ended after roughly an hour.
Barmak told reporters three attackers were killed in that incident after they used grenades to set fire to a room in the police compound.
Ariana TV footage showed a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky while a photo posted on Twitter purportedly of the west Kabul police station showed a building on fire.
The second attack, claimed by the Taliban, took place in front of a police station in Shar-e-Naw neighbourhood in downtown Kabul.
“A suicide bomber detonated his vest at the entrance of the street and a car dropped four other attackers nearby,” Barmak said.
Four attackers fled to a nearby building and were killed after an hours-long search operation by security forces, police spokesman Hashmat Estanikzai told AFP. A “clearance operation” is still underway, he added.