Troops repel surprise attack by ISIS on government building in Kabul

Saturday, 02 Jun, 2018

A suicide bomber attacked an Afghanistan Interior Ministry checkpoint in Kabul on May 30, killing one soldier and injuring five others, according to local media.

Ten assailants attacked the ministry after an explosives-laden vehicle detonated at the front gate of the compound, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

WASHINGTON: Senior Taliban officials have been secretly negotiating with Afghan officials on a possible ceasefire, the Pentagon said Wednesday, even as USA forces killed over 50 Taliban leaders in a series of strikes. The statement called it an "immersion attack" on the ministry in Kabul.

Some Taliban leaders are participating in private talks with Afghanistan government officials to jumpstart peace talks, even as fighting endures in the 16-year war, the top USA commander in the country said Wednesday.

Twelve other people, including four police officers and eight civilians, were wounded in the attack, provincial police chief Mohmmad Abdali told RFE/RL.

Just after midday, a auto bomb exploded at the entrance to the ministry compound, said Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

The US military said the May 24 meeting in Helmand's district of Musa Qala involved commanders from a number of Afghan provinces, including Farah, where Taliban fighters this month briefly threatened to overrun the provincial capital.

The Taliban claimed the attack. Critics warn the USA -backed Afghan army can not promise to defeat the Taliban or overcome Afghanistan's vast political divisions and entrenched corruption.

The 20 percent of the attacks in which the Taliban were successful in taking five district centers have been retaken by Afghan forces, the commander said, adding some were retaken in anywhere from hours to 10 days.

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe said on Twitter that the nearby coalition base was locked down for about an hour after the attack.

It appeared to be a rare victory for Afghan security forces, who have struggled to secure the capital in recent months.

Scores of Afghan militants have been killed in an artillery rocket strike in the country's south, the US has claimed, with the Taliban launching their own attack on government forces on Wednesday.

Daesh said it was behind the attack, but provided no immediate evidence for its claim.

Security officials say violence is expected to pick up as preparations continue for parliamentary elections scheduled for October.

"But our police said that at least two civilians were either killed or injured in today's attack", he said.

The Taliban claimed the attack.