Afghanistan: gunmen storm government building in eastern city


Gunmen have stormed a government building in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad and taken hostages, after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Isis issued a statement denying involvement. One witness, a passerby named Obaidullah, said the attack began when a black car with three occupants pulled up at the entrance to a building used by the department of refugee affairs. A gunman emerged and began firing.

One attacker blew himself up at the gate and two gunmen entered the building, which is in an area close to shops and government offices. Minutes later, the car blew up, wounding people in the street, Obaidullah said. “We saw several people wounded and helped to carry them away,” he said.

Eight wounded were taken to city hospitals, officials said. With fighting still ongoing, the number of casualties was likely to climb. As security forces cordoned off the area, gunshots and what were thought to be grenade explosions could be heard and a cloud of black smoke drifted into the sky. Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the local provincial council, said about 40 people appeared to be caught inside the building, which caught fire early in the attack.(theguardian)…[+]