Afghan Forces Repel Attack on Ministry

Afghan Forces Repel Attack on Ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide bomber struck outside the Afghan Interior Ministry on Wednesday, allowing gunmen to pass through an outer gate where they traded fire with security forces, who eventually killed the attackers, officials said.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said seven attackers were killed and that cleanup operations were underway. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said one policeman was killed and five were wounded.

It appeared to be a rare victory for Afghan security forces, who have struggled to secure the capital in recent months. The Taliban and a local Islamic State affiliate have carried out a wave of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Shiite minority, that have killed hundreds of people. Both groups have also expanded their footprint in the countryside.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a district headquarters in the northern Takhar province, killing five security forces, according to provincial police spokesman Khalil Asir. He said another three people were wounded in the battle, which was still underway. He said 10 insurgents were killed.

In the eastern Logar province, Taliban suicide bombers attacked a police station, killing at least three police.

Among the dead were the commander of the police station and the deputy director of traffic police for Puli Alim, the provincial capital, said Khalid Safi, a spokesman for the governor.

Another four police and eight civilians, including two children, were wounded in the attack early Wednesday, said Shah Poor Ahmadzai, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

He said the attackers set off a suicide car bomb at the entrance to the station before three suicide bombers tried to enter. He said all three were shot and killed by security forces within minutes of the initial attack, adding that a number of nearby homes were damaged.

The Taliban claimed the attacks in both provinces.