ISIS claims suicide bomb attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul

2017-07-31 13:47
ISIS group militants (File, AFP)

ISIS group militants (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul – A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday and militants breached the compound, Afghan officials said, in an unfolding attack claimed by the Islamic State group (ISIS).

Three of the attackers were still loose in the compound, but all embassy staff had been swiftly evacuated as security forces rushed to the scene, Afghanistan's interior ministry said in a statement.

Black smoke billowed into the air above the neighbourhood in northwestern Kabul as the sound of ambulance sirens could be heard.

The interior ministry confirmed that at least four militants had attacked the Iraqi embassy, saying that a suicide bomber had detonated his vest at the compound entrance.

"Police reacted quickly and the embassy staff are shifted to a safe location. The operation to kill all terrorists is ongoing," the statement continued.

There was no immediate information about casualties.

Two members of "the Islamic State attack the Iraqi embassy building in the Afghan city of Kabul", said the jihadist group's propaganda agency Amaq, without providing further details.

The embassy is located in northwestern Kabul, in a neighbourhood that is home to several hotels and banks as well as large supermarkets and several police compounds.

"I heard a big blast followed by several explosions and small gunfire," said Ahmad Ali, a nearby shopkeeper.

"People were worried and closed their shops to run for safety. The roads are still blocked by security forces."

The attack is the latest to rock Kabul, which is regularly devastated by bomb blasts and militant assaults, often killing many civilians.

The resurgent Taliban claim many of the attacks as they step up their bid to drive out foreign forces with a series of assaults across the country.

But ISIS, recently ousted from the Iraqi city of Mosul, have been expanding their footprint in eastern Afghanistan and have claimed responsibility for several devastating attacks in Kabul.

First emerging in 2015, the group's local affiliate Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K), overran large parts of eastern Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border, where they have engaged in a turf war with the Taliban.

'We will hunt them down'

US forces in Afghanistan have repeatedly targeted the group, killing its head Abu Sayed and several senior advisers in a July 11 strike in Kunar, the Pentagon has said.

The decision to deploy the so-called Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) also targeted ISIS hideouts in Nangarhar, according to the Afghan defence ministry, though fighting in the area has continued.

Pentagon officials say the group now numbers less than 1 000 in Afghanistan.

"We will be relentless in our campaign against ISIS-K. There are no safe havens in Afghanistan," said General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, in a statement on Sunday confirming some of the deaths in the July 11 strike.

"We will hunt them down until they are no longer a threat to the Afghan people and the region," he said.

The group is believed to be on the back foot in the Middle East, where analysts have said it has lost more than 60% of its territory and 80% of its revenue, three years after declaring its self-styled "caliphate" across swathes of Iraq and Syria.

NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Since then Afghan troops and police, beset by soaring casualties, have struggled to beat back the insurgents.

The US is considering whether to send thousands more troops to help the beleaguered Afghan forces as the war-weary country is gripped by increasing insecurity.

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq  |  security  |  bombings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.