Taliban fighters attacked the Kabul headquarters of the Afghanistan’s independent election commission (IEC) headquarters on Saturday, the latest in a spate of attacks ahead of next week’s presidential vote. No injuries were reported from in the initial stage of the attack, but security forces and Taliban fighters were still shooting at each other. “Four suicide bombers armed with light and heavy weapons have entered a building near the IEC headquarters and are shooting towards the IEC compound and at passersby,” Mohammad Zahir, the Kabul police chief, told reporters near the site of the attack. The IEC compound is also close to offices used by the UN and and other international organisations.
“I am here … the attack is going on around the IEC compound,” IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told Reuters by telephone from a safe room inside the building.
Staff heard an initial explosion at around midday, followed by gunfire.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the second launched against an IEC office in the capital this week as the Islamist insurgency seeks to derail the 5 April election it calls a western-backed sham.