Militants attacked an Afghan army unit guarding a military academy in the capital of Kabul on Monday, killing at least five soldiers and wounding 10, officials said. Hours later, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) claimed responsibility for the assault.
The attack was the latest in a wave of relentless violence in Kabul this month unleashed by the Taliban and rival Isil militants that has killed scores and left hundreds wounded.
Monday’s attack started around 4am, witnesses said, and fighting continued long after daybreak.
A suicide bomber first struck the military unit responsible for providing security for the academy, followed by a gun battle with the troops, said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry.
At least five insurgents were involved in the morning assault, according to Waziri. Two of the attackers were killed in the gunbattle, two detonated their suicide vests and one was arrested by the troops, he said.
All roads leading to the military academy were blocked by police, which only allowed ambulances access to the site to transfer the wounded to hospitals.
After the gunbattle ended, the security forces resumed control of the area. They also confiscated one suicide vest, an AK-47 and some ammunition, Waziri said.
“The attack was against an army unit providing security for the academy and not the academy itself,” he insisted.
Afzal Aman, commander of the city’s military garrison, confirmed the attack in the area of the Marshal Fahim military academy.
Hashmat Faqeri, a resident near the site, told The Associated Press he heard sounds of explosions and a gunbattle.
Hours later, Isil’s affiliate in Afghanistan, known as Khorasan Province, posted its claim of responsibility on its media arm, the Aamaq news agency website, saying its fighters targeted the “military academy in Kabul.”
The military academy in Kabul was also attacked in October last year by a suicide bomber who killed 15 officers. The attacker was on foot and detonated his suicide vest as the on-duty officers were leaving the facility, heading home in the evening. That attack was claimed by the Taliban.
Both the Taliban and Isil have stepped up attacks in recent months in Kabul and elsewhere across Afghanistan, including massive bombings staged by militants determined to inflict maximum casualties, instill terror in the population and undermine confidence in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government and the country’s security forces.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/29/five-dead-kabul-military-base-rocked-pre-dawn-isil-attack/