A Taliban suicide truck bomb struck at the entrance of a foreign-run compound in Kabul on Tuesday, killing two Afghan guards, highlighting the security challenges facing the country as NATO forces depart.
Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the early-morning blast, which shook windows across the Afghan capital and sent a plume of smoke into the sky over the east of the city.
After the initial explosion, two other militants were shot dead as they tried to storm the compound.
“It was a bomb in a small truck at the gate of a foreign base. Initial reports show two guards killed, several wounded,” Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the ministry of interior, told AFP.
“The guards were Afghan. Two other attackers tried to enter the base and were killed by guards.”
Kabul police chief Zahir Zahir said the attackers drove a truck carrying sand and stone up the compound gate, claiming they were delivering construction material.
He said one foreign national was wounded, but gave no further details.
Vice-president Abdul Rahshid Dostum arrived at the scene shortly after the blast.
“This is not a face-to-face war, it is an intelligence war,” he told reporters.
“We all know they (the Taliban) have influence over some traitors... but we will find them and they will be brought to justice.”
A spokesman for the Taliban said via a recognised Twitter account that the attack targeted a foreign forces’ intelligence base.
On Sunday Afghan lawmaker Shukria Barakzai escaped a suicide blast in Kabul as she drove in a convoy near parliament.
Three civilians died in that attack.
Kabul has been hit by regular suicide attacks over recent years, often against the US-led military force fighting Taliban insurgents since 2001.
The NATO force is ending its war next month and pulling out, though about 12,500 troops will remain to support the Afghan army and police now responsible for imposing security nationwide.
Deadly Taliban attack targets Kabul police HQA second explosion in the center of Kabul did not kill or injure anyone, the government said Asia
Taliban blast in Kabul kills four Afghan soldiersThe blast, caused by a remote-controlled bomb, targeted an Afghan army bus Asia
New Afghan president hosts Turkey's Erdogan in KabulThe two leaders later appeared in a joint press conference after signing an agreement on closer bilateral relationship Asia
Taliban unleash twin suicide attacks in KabulThe Taliban claimed at least 20 soldiers were killed, but the insurgents regularly exaggerate death tolls after attacks Asia
Two Americans killed in Kabul suicide bombingThe attack came during morning rush-hour traffic near the heavily-guarded U.S. embassy Asia
Kabul court sentenced seven men to death for gang rapePolice said a large group of men, some dressed in police uniforms dragged four women out of cars in the middle of the night and raped them Asia
Officials: Kabul airport assault ends, all attackers killedThe attack ended after all the insurgents involved were killed Asia
German soldiers cheer Word Cup win in KabulGerman soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) watch a giant TV screen featuring the FIFA World Cup final football ... Perspective