Kabul: Siege on US NGO's building ends after 6 hours

Last Updated: Sun, May 12, 2019 23:30 hrs

[Afghanistan], May 8 (ANI): At least two of the attackers were killed by the Afghan forces as the assault on Counterpart International's building here ended nearly after six hours on Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Both the attackers were killed in a clearance operation, as per Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for Ministry of Interior Affairs quoted by TOLOnews.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani labelled the attack as an "unforgivable crime."

"Taliban should respond to the Afghan people's demand for peace; otherwise, they will be suppressed by the brave Defense and Security Forces of Afghanistan," Ghani said in a statement.

At least 170 civilians were rescued from the office during the operation.

"Civilians are not a target. UNAMA condemns Taliban deliberate targeting of civilian aid organization, Counterpart International, in civilian area of Kabul. Today's attack particularly deplorable, hitting civilians helping Afghans and taking place during Ramadan," the United Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said, condemning the attack.

While casualties are feared, an official confirmation of the death toll is awaited. However, around 15 people were wounded in the assault.

On Wednesday, gunmen stormed the US organisation's building in the Shahr-e-Naw area. Ambulances, firefighters and military vehicles rushed near the attack scene immediately.

The attack comes nearly 20 days after another assault left dozens dead in the Afghan capital.

The US Ambassador to Afghanistan strongly condemned the Taliban attack, which comes at a time when there are rising calls for peace in the country.

"Strongly condemn Taliban attack against US NGO in Kabul today. The targeted organization helps local communities, trains journalists and supports the Afghan people. For this, it is the target of senseless violence. Thanks to Afghan Security Forces for rapid response," he tweeted. (ANI)