8 die in attack on British Council in Kabul
Kabul, Aug 19: Eight people were killed as a wave of suicide explosions rocked a British cultural centre in Kabul today, a public holiday marking Afghanistan's independence from Britain in 1919.
Five blasts, claimed by the Taliban, struck the British Council offices in Kabul amid bursts of heavy gunfire that began in the early morning and were ongoing four hours later.
A fresh explosion hit the area at 10:00am (0530 GMT).
The British Council is an official organisation part-funded by London that promotes cultural relations in offices around the world.
Police said at least the first two blasts were the work of suicide bombers.
"Eight people, mostly police, are killed and 10 others injured," said interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui. "There's one person, one of the attackers who is still alive and resisting. The area has not yet been cleared."
Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai earlier said the dead included two policemen and two street cleaners who had been working nearby when the attackers struck.
The British embassy and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan confirmed that the target was the British Council.
"I can confirm reports of an attack against the British Council compound in Kabul," said an embassy spokesman.
He added that the embassy was co-ordinating with Afghan authorities at the scene but could not provide information on casualties.
An AFP photographer at the scene saw British, US and French forces there, while an AFP reporter witnessed two large ISAF armoured vehicles arriving as helicopters circled. AFP
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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