January 18th, 2010
07:34 AM ET

Militant attack kills 5 in heart of Kabul

Kabul, Afghanistan - An attack in which the Taliban claimed to have infiltrated key government sites in central Kabul killed five people on Monday morning, hospital officials said. Thirty-eight other people were injured, said Dr. Kabir Amiri, head of Kabul hospitals. Afghan security forces were among the casualties, he added, without clarifying.

At least two explosions and gunfire shook central Kabul about 9:20 a.m. Monday, with the Taliban saying it was conducting a militant operation.

The attack started as 14 members of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet were to be sworn in, said Parliament member Fawzia Koofi.

(See more photos here from CNN's Dan Rivers andĀ from theĀ United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)

About 20 Taliban insurgents entered the presidential palace; the ministries of finance, mines and justice; and the Serena Hotel, said spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. The militants claimed responsibility for at least one explosion.

NATO-led forces said "several small explosions" and gunfire were reported near the Feroshgah e Afghan Shopping Center and the Serena Hotel, and later added that "numerous" suicide bombers had attacked government buildings close to the presidential palace and the Ministry of Justice.

At least two insurgents had been killed at the shopping center, NATO-led forces said in a news release, which also said that Afghan national police had secured all roads in the area. A separate news release condemned the attack, which NATO-led forces said took place amid many civilians.

The Taliban claimed that they killed 31 officials and injured 31 people. Their account could not be immediately independently verified.

Five Taliban militants had been killed and 13 had returned to their safe houses, the Taliban's Mujahid said, adding that two were still fighting.

That conflicted with information from Afghan officials. Security forces had restored order by Monday afternoon, said Zmaray Bashari, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

Monday's assault followed weekend violence that killed at least three international troops and 14 militants in Afghanistan, authorities said.

CNN's Dan Rivers and Atia Abawi contributed to this report.


Filed under: Kabul attacks • Taliban
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. cyclopes

    in elimenating evils in battleground we have to undergo such a lot of sacrifices in able to released our brothers and sisters who are blanketed by this evil darkness. but sooner or later will reveal who is the real victor.

    January 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john--Nashville

    I believe we are on the right course. I would like to see more drones in the air, with solid targets.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AndersonClay

    The US is in the process of learning (THE HARD WAY) why the Soviets, after years trying to dominate Afghanistan had to collect its dead and, shamefully, return home defeated. We could well avoid going through this same painful process if we had the ability to learn faster that it will not be possible to break the determination of the Afghan people to decide their own future!

    January 19, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. DK.

    i think behind this attack is self US. because, their been not killed one of US.DK.UK.EU. soldier in this attack. because the US. soldier knew it that is happning.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. sturnino t. perolino

    the problem of afghanistan emanates from the interference made by the american govt. The americans wants the world to follow and adopt their way of life,belief an culture .Thinking that american laws and culture are good to the whole world,all others are not.

    January 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    Perhaps, the importance of fulfilling basic human needs in Afghanistan, I believe, has been overlooked. While it is very true that Taliban will continue to depict Karzai as an American puppet, it is somewhat irrelevant in this case for the following reason: it is important to recognize that the Afghan people need an incentive to be on the Government's side, regardless of how Afghan the Government may be. In my opinion, currently, that incentive is to meet people's immediate and basic needs, such as security, shelter, and food, not just in Kabul, but all provinces. Without measurable evidence of Government's efforts to address these needs, it'll be very hard to secure any city of Afghanistan.

    January 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    If The United States keeps helping them better Their area... The Taliban will have a harder time to convince them different from the truth!!! The United States just has to keep doing what they are doing now...

    January 18, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. moneyjihad.wordpress.com

    No matter how strained U.S. relationships are with the Karzai government, the Taliban will continue telling the population of Afghanistan that Karzai is an American puppet, and therefore it's OK in their eyes to murder bureaucrats in the ministries of Karzai's government.

    Despicable.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |