Dozens of others had been wounded as explosions and gunfire echoed via the capital, in a day of carnage that underscores rising insecurity in Afghanistan over the resurgent Taliban.
A suicide automotive bomber struck an Afghan police precinct in western Kabul and a gun battle ensued after one other attacker snuck in, officers mentioned, in a five-hour assault which despatched clouds of acrid smoke billowing into the sky.
Within the second assault, a suicide bomber blew himself up on the gates of an Afghan intelligence company department in jap Kabul whereas one other assailant was gunned down whereas making an attempt to enter the compound, officers added.
“Fifteen individuals had been killed within the assault on the police compound and one particular person died within the second assault,” well being ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh advised AFP, warning that the toll may spike additional.
“Not less than 104 others had been wounded, a few of them significantly.”
The Taliban claimed each assaults, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid calling them “martyrdom assaults” in a Twitter message. The insurgents additionally asserted accountability for a 3rd assault on a navy faculty, however the authorities dismissed the declare.
Afghan police and troops are battling an emboldened Taliban because the insurgents escalate nationwide assaults, even in winter months when the combating normally wanes.
The nation is bracing for an intense new Taliban combating season within the spring as the federal government s repeated bids to launch peace negotiations have failed.
However in an announcement condemning the assault, President Ashraf Ghani mentioned the Taliban had been “launching such assaults to boost the morale of their fighters” after the current killing of rebel commander Mullah Salam.
Salam, who twice oversaw the seize of the strategic northern metropolis of Kunduz, was killed on Sunday in a US air strike in a blow to the militant group.
“We share the sorrow of all Afghans over these heinous acts,” mentioned the US embassy in Kabul, condemning the assault.
“To callously goal Afghan women and men who dedicate their lives to serving and defending their fellow residents, because the Taliban did immediately, is an act of extraordinary cowardice.”
The most recent violence comes two days after an Afghan policeman linked to the Taliban shot lifeless 11 of his colleagues at a checkpoint within the southern province of Helmand, within the newest so-called insider assault.
Such assaults — when Afghan troopers and police flip their weapons on their colleagues or on worldwide troops — have sapped morale and precipitated deep distrust inside safety ranks.
Afghan forces, already beset by report casualties, desertions and non-existent “ghost troopers” on the payrolls, have been struggling to rein within the Taliban since US-led NATO troops ended their fight mission in December 2014.
Kabul final month endorsed US normal John Nicholson s name for 1000’s of extra coalition troops in Afghanistan to fend off the militants earlier than the spring offensive.
Additional troops had been wanted to finish the stalemate within the struggle, Nicholson, the highest US commander in Afghanistan, advised the US Congress in what may very well be President Donald Trump s first main check of navy technique.
Individually, the Pentagon this yr mentioned it could deploy some 300 US Marines this spring to Helmand province alone.
The Marines will help a NATO-led mission to coach Afghan forces, within the newest signal that international forces are more and more being drawn again into the worsening battle.