Troops repel surprise attack by ISIS on government building in Kabul

Troops repel surprise attack by ISIS on government building in Kabul

Two of the attackers detonated their explosives, allowing eight others to pass through an outer gate at the ministry where they traded fire with security forces before they were eventually killed.

At least four Taliban insurgents were also killed and another militant was wounded during the operation, the provincial government said.

Nicholson's remarks came hours after Afghan security guards foiled a suspected Taliban attack on the Interior Ministry in Kabul.

The tactics used in the attack "track with" the tactics that the Haqqani faction has used in the past, he said and added: "We at this time do not believe it was an ISIS attack".

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The use of captured United States uniforms is a long-standing tactic of militant groups in nations like Afghanistan, where long-term United States military presence means a lot of such gear is available.

Initial findings by the ministry said six attackers were killed. He said all coalition troops had been accounted for after the attack.

Shahpoor Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said three attackers who sought to enter the police station in the early morning hours triggered a three-hour gunbattle that ended when all three were killed. A suicide auto bomb was set off at the gates before three gunmen in suicide vests stormed the compound.

It is estimated that about 15 million people - half the population - are living in areas that are either controlled by the Taliban or where the Taliban are openly present and regularly mount attacks.

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In the meantime, a police official said on condition of anonymity "that three policemen including PD1 police chief and three traffic police were killed in the attack and five civilians were wounded". It is unclear who carried out the attack, though the southern province is the Taliban's historic heartland.

Police also said they had found a auto stuffed with explosives and guns at Kabul's worldwide airport near the interior ministry on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Task Force Southwest announced U.S. Forces-Afghanistan conducted a series of strikes on the Taliban over a 10-day period that resulted in the deaths of more than 70 senior Taliban leaders.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a district headquarters in the northern Takhar province, killing five security forces, according to provincial police spokesman Khalil Asir.

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