30 civilians killed in battle with Taliban

30 civilians killed in battle with Taliban

KABUL: A Taliban attack on a foreign compound in the Afghan capital left at least 12 people injured on Wednesday, officials said.

The militant group claimed responsibility for the strike, which came hours after President Ashraf Ghani unveiled his peace plan with the extremists at a key global conference in Geneva.

The night-time attack began with a suicide attack using a car bomb. According to one police source, the attack targeted G4S, a firm that provides security for the British Foreign Office in Afghanistan.

British, US and other foreign contractors live in fortified compounds close to the site of the attack in the eastern part of Kabul.

Various state offices, including the headquarters of the election commission, and military training facilities used by US and Afghan forces, are also located in the area.

Najib Danesh, a spokesman for the interior ministry, confirmed the attack, but had no further details.

The number of attackers remains unknown, and it is unclear if the compound’s security was breached.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the target was an “important base for occupying forces” which was used to coordinate and plan attacks throughout the country.

He said that the attack was carried out to avenge the deaths of civilians on Tuesday in southern Helmand province, where at least 20 people were killed in a joint ground and air operation.

A coalition spokesman said earlier that a joint patrol involving US advisers had been attacked by Taliban fighters. Airstrikes had been called in “self-defense,” he said. But he declined to say whether the Afghan or coalition carried out the strikes.

As the attack was unfolding in Kabul, gunmen opened fire on the home of a former intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh, in a separate part of the capital. Both Saleh and his guest and successor, Rahmatullah Nabil, were unhurt, officials said.

“While I was hosted by Amrullah Saleh, his house was attacked by three attackers. The attack was quickly repelled by his guards and the attackers retreated. We are both fine and safe,” Nabil said in a tweet.

Both men have been long-time critics of the Taliban and Pakistan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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