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Taliban attack aid group’s offices in Afghan capital

A large plume of smoke rose from the area and the sound of sporadic gunfire could be heard.

(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

The Taliban have attacked the offices of an international non-profit organisation in the Afghan capital.

The attackers set off a huge explosion and battled Afghan security forces in an assault that wounded at least nine people, officials said.

A large plume of smoke rose from the area in Kabul and the sound of sporadic gunfire could be heard.

The attack targeted an international aid group called Counterpart International, which has offices near those of the Afghan attorney general, according to an interior ministry spokesman.

Smokes rises after a huge explosion in Kabul (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group attacked the organisation because it was involved in “harmful Western activities” inside Afghanistan.

The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, even as peace efforts have accelerated to find an end to the country’s 17-year war.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for peace with the Taliban last week and promised to free 175 Taliban prisoners ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on Monday.

The Taliban said they would continue their attacks during Ramadan, but would be “very careful of civilians during any operation”.

The insurgents have rejected past ceasefire proposals, saying US and Nato troops must withdraw from the country first. The Taliban also refuse to negotiate directly with the government in Kabul, seeing it as a US puppet.



From Belfast Telegraph