Afghan Officials Say Attack on Ministry Was Repelled

Seven attackers killed as Afghan forces stave off major terror bid

An attack on the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul was repelled by security forces, Wednesday.

A vehicle bomb was detonated at the entrance of the ministry to launch the attack and then several gunmen managed to get inside the compound, said a senior police official. One police was killed and five others were wounded in the attack, the AP reported.

Minister of Interior spokesman Najib Danish said there were two explosions at the first gate of the ministry compound and the attackers managed to breach the first checkpoint and engage security forces between the first and second checkpoints.

A local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has also launched a number of deadly attacks in recent months, including in Kabul.

During a Wednesday teleconference with reporters, Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, revealed that the Taliban and Afghan government have been secretly negotiating a possible ceasefire.

"We think the meeting was to plan next steps", said Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, spokesman for USA forces in Afghanistan.

"What it looks like is it was a group of commanders, meeting in part to discuss the operation in Farah that many of them had just participated in", said General Nicholson.

Both the Taliban and IS frequently target Afghanistan's Western-backed government and its security forces.

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"It was 5 in the morning when the Taliban exploded a auto bomb near the First District Police Headquarters and three suicide attackers entered the building", Mr. Ahmadzai said.

Security officials say violence is expected to pick up as preparations continue for parliamentary elections scheduled for October. He said 10 insurgents were killed.

"Eight civilians have also been wounded", provincial police spokesman Shapoor Ahmadzai told AFP.

Khalid Safi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the slain policemen included the commander of the police station, another officer, and the deputy director of traffic police for the provincial capital.

Last month, two explosions in Kabul killed at least 26 people, including nine journalists who had arrived to report on an initial blast and were targeted by a suicide bomber which was claimed by the Islamic State fighters.

The Taliban claimed the attack. No one immediately claimed the attack.

Afghanistan was hit by multiple militant attacks across the country Wednesday, as the USA military announced it carried out a successful airstrike targeting top Taliban leaders.

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