IS suicide bomber hits local TV in Kabul; at least 2 killed

Smoke rises from the Shamshad TV building after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Police officer Jan Agha says gunmen attacked on the local TV station. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Two attackers, one of them a suicide bomber, struck a local TV station in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least two guards, officials said. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the assault.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the casualties were a male and a female security guard at Shamshad TV.

"There were two attackers and both have been killed," Danish said shortly after the attack, adding that the police have sealed off the station and were combing the premises.

He said the police rescued some of the TV staff as the attack was unfolding but he did not elaborate.

Wahid Mujro, spokesman for the public health ministry, said 21 people wounded in the attack were taken to hospitals.

"The attackers ... had military uniforms on," said Gen. Salim Hassas. One attacker blew himself up at the gate of the station's compound while the second reached the second floor of the TV building form where he engaged the security forces. The attacker was later killed there, Hassas said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied their involvement in the attack. The IS-linked Aamaq news outlet said the Islamic State group was behind the attack, reported the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant postings.

Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate has carried out several attacks in recent years, mainly targeting the country's Shiite minority, which the Sunni extremists view as apostates. The IS affiliate is largely made up of disenchanted insurgents who left the much larger and more well-established Taliban.

Last Tuesday, an IS suicide bomber struck near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, killing five and wounding at least 20. The bombing took place in a heavily-guarded area housing several diplomatic missions and the offices of international organizations.

Also Tuesday, gunmen killed two people in the city of Herat, the provincial capital in western Herat province, including a provincial council member, said Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor.

"Fazel Jamshedi and his bodyguard were shot and killed by possibly two gunmen riding a motorcycle," said Farhad.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for that attack.


Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.

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