Taliban launches series of attacks against Afghanistan capital

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Map of Afghanistan
Image: US Central Intelligence Agency.

Several gunmen and suicide bombers from the Taliban have launched attacks in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, prompting gun fights and explosions on government targets. The public health ministry said that at least five people died and 38 more were injured.

President Hamid Karzai said that the situation was under control several hours after the attacks started; however, the Al Jazeera news agency reports that gunfire is still being heard around the city.

According to the Taliban, twenty of its fighters had participated in the attacks. A Taliban spokesman stated that the intended targets were ministries around the Pashtunistan Square, and the presidential palace; however, security was not breached at either of the locations.

Defence ministry spokesman Muhammad Zahir Azimi, however, reported that a cinema, two shopping centres, and the city's only five-star hotel, were set on fire after the attacks.

"A suicide bomber in a car came towards the foreign ministry. Security forces tried to stop it and it hit a shopping centre. It is really chaotic in the area," said local journalist Farhad Paiker.