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  • Prior to Saturday’s incident, there had been no attacks targeting civilian in Kabul for weeks.

    Prior to Saturday’s incident, there had been no attacks targeting civilian in Kabul for weeks. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 20 April 2019

Following the echo of gunshots, the area around the building was promptly cordoned off and secured by law enforcement officials.

Afghan officials have confirmed an explosion struck Kabul and a multi-story building which houses the country’s communication ministry was the location of a gun battle Saturday.

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"The information that we have is four attackers have placed themselves near the communication ministry and are engaged in gun battles with the Afghan security forces," Amanduddin Shariati, a security official in Kabul, told AFP news agency.

The communications ministry is located in Kabul's second police district, about two kilometers from the green zone in one of the main commercial areas of the city.

"Around 11:40 am [07:10GMT], an explosion [was] heard near the communication ministry, and sporadic fires have also been heard in the area," Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

Following the echo of gunshots, the area around the building was promptly cordoned off and secured by law enforcement officials.

Local television reportedly footage showed a small plume of smoke near the ministry as well as people climbing out of windows on a lower level of the building, Al Jazeera reported.

The Kabul attack came just days after a planned meeting between Taliban officials and Afghan politicians and civil society representatives in the Qatari capital Doha was canceled.

Prior to Saturday’s incident, there had been no attacks targeting civilian in Kabul for weeks, despite intense fighting across other parts of Afghanistan.

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