TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Afghan health officials stated that at least 43 people were killed in an hours-long coordinated attack on a government building in Kabul, making it one of the deadliest assaults on the capital this year.
Hundreds of people were trapped on Monday on a site where the Ministry of Public Works and other offices are located when gunmen stormed the building and began moving from floor to floor targeting employees.
Others killed included a police officer and three of the attackers, who were shot dead by Afghan security forces, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. Another 10 people were wounded in the attack, Al Jazeera reported.
The attack began in the afternoon when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a car outside the public works ministry. Gunmen then stormed the building of the National Authority for Disabled People and Martyrs' Families, taking civilians hostage as they fought a gun battle against Afghan soldiers.
Afghan security forces went from floor to floor of the building in an operation to rescue over 350 people inside, but had to exercise restraint in their operations against the attackers given the number of employees there, a senior security official said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Taliban launches regular attacks and controls nearly half of Afghanistan. But the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group is also active. Both armed groups have previously launched coordinated attacks like the one on Monday.