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Dec 18, 8:32 AM EST

Islamic State attacks Afghan intelligence compound in Kabul

AP Photo
AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Islamic State gunmen stormed a partially constructed building near an intelligence training center in the Afghan capital on Monday, triggering a gun battle with security forces.

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the fighting ended when Afghan security forces shot and killed the three attackers without suffering any casualties.

He said the gunmen, who launched their assault with a car bomb and rocket-propelled grenades, appear to have been wearing police uniforms. The militants took up positions at the construction site in order to fire down on the training center.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack in statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying two fighters had attacked an intelligence center in Kabul.

A powerful IS affiliate has emerged in Afghanistan in recent years that is largely made up of disgruntled former Taliban insurgents. The group is not as large or well-entrenched as the Taliban, but has carried out a number of deadly attacks, mainly targeting minority Shiites and security forces.

IS has also clashed with the Taliban. The two groups are fiercely divided over ideology, tactics and leadership.

On Sunday, a Taliban attack on a police post in the western Badghis province killed a police officer and wounded three others, said Gulam Haydar Sarwari, the province's deputy police chief. The slain officer was the district police commander, he added.

Sarwari said the attack set off heavy clashes in which scores of Taliban attackers were driven away. There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Taliban, who regularly stage attacks across the country and have seized control of several districts.

In the eastern city of Mihterlam, capital of the Laghman province, two separate blasts killed an intelligence service agent and a civilian, according to Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor. Another six people were wounded in the second attack, including children. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either blast.


Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef contributed to this report.

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