Embassies in Afghan capital attacked; 2 die

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02:18 AM April 16th, 2012

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April 16th, 2012 02:18 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan—The Taliban launched coordinated attacks on at least seven sites across the Afghan capital on Sunday, targeting North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) headquarters, the parliament and diplomatic residences. Militants also launched near-simultaneous assaults in three other eastern cities.

At least two attackers were killed and five people wounded in the Kabul attacks, which were still under way hours after they began.

The Taliban claimed responsibility. Its spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that scores of suicide bombers were assaulting Kabul and three other provinces.

The attacks in the capital began with bombings in the neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan, where a Nato base and several embassies are located. Gunfire erupted soon after the blasts, forcing people to scramble for cover.

More than 10 explosions rocked the capital, and heavy gunfire shook the city for two hours.

Mujahid said the attacks were targeting Nato headquarters, the British and German Embassies, the parliament building, the Serena and Kabul Star hotels, and sites along a road where the Russian Embassy is located.

Taliban fighters also launched assaults on Afghan and Nato installations in the capitals of Nangarhar, Logar and Paktia provinces, he said.

The American Embassy said there were attacks “in the vicinity of the US Embassy.” The German Foreign Ministry said there was some damage in the grounds of the German Embassy, but it did not appear that anyone had been hurt.

Militants in a tall building were firing rockets in different directions. It was not clear what they were targeting, but shots appeared to be focusing on the British Embassy.

The Interior Ministry said two suicide attackers had been killed—one who was firing from a building under construction behind the Kabul Star Hotel and one in a building under construction near the parliament.

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