Truck bomb strikes foreign guesthouse in Kabul

A powerful Taliban truck bomb struck a guesthouse popular with foreigners in Kabul early Monday, a security source and local media said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Afghan policemen keep watch near the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan August 1, 2016.

Updated Aug 1, 2016

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a truck bomb attack on a military and logistics services compound, mainly used by foreigners, in Kabul early on Monday after a powerful explosion was heard all around the city.

As day broke, gunfire and occasional explosions rang out over the industrial zone where security forces had taken up positions near the site of the Northgate Hotel, a secure residential compound for foreign military and civilian organizations.

Security officials said four heavily armed attackers were at the site, suggesting a coordinated operation between suicide bombers and gunmen.

"A truck packed with explosives struck the entrance of Northgate guesthouse," the source told AFP.

Northgate, close to the US-run Bagram air base north of Kabul, is a heavily guarded compound with blast walls and watchtowers.

Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they targeted "an important foreign guesthouse" with a truck filled with high amounts of explosives.

Local media report that fighting continues at the scene of the blast with at least 4 Taliban fighters engaging with Afghan National security forces as well as security at the Northgate compound, which houses private military contractors.

The blast occurred around 130am local time (2100 GMT), near the Pol-e Charkhi area, 20 minutes outside Kabul.

The blast could be heard across the city with local residents from several different areas reporting that the power seemed to cut almost immediately after the explosion.

The attack comes more than a week after 80 people were killed in twin bombings in the Afghan capital, the deadliest attack in the city in 15 years.

That assault was claimed by DEASH terrorist group, which is making gradual inroads into Afghanistan, challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

Monday's attack is one of the rare late night bombings. The last major one in, which also could be heard throughout the city was at Afghan National Army base in Shah Shaheed in August 2015, which killed eight people and injuring more than 200. 


TRTWorld and agencies