At least 12 dead, 31 wounded in Kabul govt building attack

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

An Afghan policeman keeps watch near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan June 11, 2018.

Employees were leaving their offices at 1:00 pm (0830 GMT) due to the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said a suicide bomber on foot struck outside the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry as employees were leaving work.

Aminullah Ayaddin, a provincial council member, said the attack in the Qala-e Zal district unfolded as the soldiers gathered to eat a predawn meal before fasting.

Taliban fighters killed a governor and took control of his district in northern Afghanistan as clashes broke out across the country, officials said on Tuesday, accusing the militants of defying the start of a government ceasefire with them.

Noori blamed the Taliban for the attack, although no group has so far claimed responsibility. Three people were also injured.

- Storm before the calm?

Although the group said it would halt attacks on state forces for three days, it vowed to continue operations against foreign troops.

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Police would not immediately confirm whether the person holding the hostages was armed or describe the nature of his demands. However, police have said there was no indication that the incident was terrorism-related, according to CNN .

It would last from the "27th of Ramadan until the fifth day of Eid-al-Fitr", he said, indicating it could run from June 12-19.

Talking to Commander RSM, the COAS said that Pakistan desires that US/ NATO forces must succeed and leave behind a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, the ISPR mentioned.

Intense fighting was also reported between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in the northern provinces of Faryab and Sari Pul, with officials reporting an unspecified number of casualties on both sides.

It is the first time the militants have agreed to suspend fighting since the 2001 USA invasion, and the move was largely welcomed by war-weary Afghans.

If it holds, analysts had expressed cautious optimism that the agreements could help build trust between the government and the Taliban and lay the groundwork for peace talks.

The Taliban's announcement has meanwhile brought renewed hope for the resumption of the stalled peace process between the Afghan government and the militants.

The latest violence comes as dozens of protesters march hundreds of kilometres towards Kabul to demand an end to the almost 17-year conflict.

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