Six militants in suicide vests attacked the Afghan intelligence headquarters in Kabul yesterday, detonating a car bomb at the gates of the compound in a coordinated assault that killed at least one person and wounded dozens, officials said.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault in a text message sent to foreign media.
The multi-pronged attack was the second to target the intelligence agency, known as the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), in as many months.
On Dec. 6, a Taliban suicide bomber posing as a peace messenger blew himself up while meeting with NDS head Asadullah Khalid inside a Kabul residence. Khalid is hospitalized in the US with serious wounds.
The Taliban insurgency regularly targets Afghan army and police, but attacks against the NDS in particular show the group’s ability to strike even those who are supposedly closely monitoring their activities.
One NDS guard was killed in the blast, agency spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri said. He did not give information on wounded NDS agents.
Kabul police said the first attacker detonated a minivan packed with explosives at the front gate of the NDS compound and the other five — all with explosives strapped to their chests — piled out of a second minivan and tried to storm the gate. Security forces killed the gunmen and defused explosives in the assailants’ van, police said.
Tahiri said the bomb in the van had been set to a timer.
Kabul Police Investigation Unit head Mohammad Zahir said at least 30 people were wounded.
Tahiri said four of them were in critical condition.
The blast left the twisted wreckage of at least seven cars on the street and the windows of nearby shops were blown.
A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said Afghan forces were responding to the attack and there was no NATO involvement.