Triple bombing and gun battle in Kabul leaves 35 dead

The death toll in a triple bombing and siege in Kabul has risen to 35, including 5 security force members, the Afghan Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

A further four attackers were killed and over 100 people, including children, were wounded in the violence on Monday, officials said.

The attacks began with a twin bombing claimed by the Taliban in one of the most crowded areas of the capital. Near the end of the workday a bomb was detonated at the Afghan Presidential Administration Office, drawing security forces to the scene. 

This was followed by another blast when a suicide bomber blew himself up among the crowd that had gathered to assist the injured. 

A suicide bomber later detonated an explosive-packed-vehicle in front of the charity organization Care International, also targeting a busy shopping area open late ahead of the Eid holidays.

Two assailants then took several people hostage, before both being killed by security forces in an 11-hour battle lasting until Tuesday morning. At least 42 people, including 10 foreigners, were trapped inside the charity building during the siege.

Among those killed in the first bombings was General Abdul Raziq, a senior Afghan army official and a district police chief in Kabul city.

"He was assisting the wounded from the initial blast when the second suicide bombing occurred," said General Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

The first series of attacks targeted one of Kabul's busiest areas, where the Presidential Administrative Office, Ministry of Defence and district police headquarters are located, all within close proximity of each other.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attacks, adding that it had killed dozens of soldiers and officers.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and the terrorists' efforts "to reach their ominous goals by spreading fear."

"This was an act against religion, human faith and humanity," he wrote on Twitter.

Last month 16 people were killed and 39 others wounded in a Taliban attack on the American University of Afghanistan. 

In April, 64 people were killed and more than 300 others wounded when the Taliban attacked an organization providing security for the Afghan elite. 

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