1 Aug 2016

Taliban claims Kabul compound attack

2:28 pm on 1 August 2016

A huge explosion has rocked the Afghan capital Kabul.

Kabul (file photo)

Kabul (file photo) Photo: 123rf

Witnesses said the blast was heard across most of the city about 1.25am local time on Monday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a truck bomb attack on a military and logistics services compound, mainly used by foreigners.

A security services official said four heavily armed attackers were fighting on the site of the Northgate Hotel, a secure residential compound for foreign military and civilian organizations.

Reports said the blast was caused by a lorry bomb at the North Gate compound.

There was no word about casualties.

The Taliban claimed there were "dozens of dead and wounded", but the Islamist group often exaggerates the extent of attacks it launches against Afghan government and foreign security targets.

Afghan security forces closed off streets around the site, which is east of Kabul's main international airport and on the way to the sprawling Bagram air base north of the city, immediately after the attack.

Power was also briefly cut in parts of Kabul shortly after the explosion.

Gunfire was also heard at the scene of the blast, reports said, and police and security forces later sealed off the area.

North Gate is a heavily guarded compound, which was also attacked by militants three years ago.

Earlier reports suggested the blast was in a gas storage facility.

Last week, two suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State militant group killed 80 people and wounded 230 more in Kabul.

The Taliban, which often says it wants to avoid civilian casualties, said the compound was not near homes and that ordinary people were not harmed.

- BBC / Reuters

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