A+ A-

Heavy explosions, gunfire reported near US embassy in Kabul

ISLAMABAD, April 15 (KUNA) -- Bursts of gunfire and several heavy blasts were reported Sunday afternoon near the US embassy after a suicide blast hit a luxurious hotel in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, said reports.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), first explosions hit the central Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic enclave area, which is home to a number of embassies and a NATO base. Soon after the first explosions, gunfire erupted and attackers stormed the Kabul Star Hotel in front of the Iranian embassy.
Since then, said PAN, more than 10 explosions have been reported and heavy gunfire continued for more than 30 minutes. Citing witnesses, PAN reported that smoke billowed from a couple of buildings in the locality, where sirens were wailing. Heavily-barricaded British and German embassies, as well as an American military centre and the Presidential Palace, are also located in the area.
The hotel caught fire after the attack, but confirmation from security officials was not immediately available. Elsewhere, some assailants took up positions in an under-construction building in Darul Aman area, firing a volley of rockets and gunshots at the old parliament building.
Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman said that several government offices were simultaneously attacked in Kabul, Logar, Nangarhar and Paktia provinces. Zabihullah Mujahid added clashes between the assailants and security personnel were still underway. However, he had no casualty figures. (end) amn.mt KUNA 151432 Apr 12NNNN