Gunmen entered Spanish Embassy after deadly bombing in Kabul, officials say

KABUL -- Attackers entered the Spanish Embassy in Kabul after a deadly car bombing in a diplomatic neighbourhood of the Afghan capital, engaging in an hour-long shootout with security forces while staff hid in bunkers, the Spanish government said Saturday in an account of the attack a day earlier.

See Full Article

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said four Afghan police officers and two others, including a foreigner, were killed in the attack that was claimed by the Taliban. Authorities in Madrid said two Spanish police officers were killed. The discrepancy could not immediately be clarified.

According to a statement issued Saturday by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office, a powerful car bomb exploded Friday evening near the embassy, "causing serious damage to the premises" and killing Deputy-Inspector Jorge Garcia Tudela and Isidro Gabino Sanmartin Hernandez who were guarding the compound.

An hour-long shootout followed, the statement said. During the gun battle, three attackers entered the embassy compound while staff hid in two bunkers. They were released unharmed "after an intervention by Afghan and United States special forces units that lasted several hours," the statement said.

"All details of the attack are under investigation, although a statement by the attackers said that the embassy was not the intended target of their attack," the Spanish government said.

The incident caused confusion in Spain, as Rajoy initially insisted to television audiences during an election rally that the embassy had not come under attack.

Shortly after, Rajoy told reporters the only Spaniard hurt was a slightly wounded police officer who had been taken to a hospital but was expected to recover. He later acknowledged a policeman died, and hours afterward the government announced the death of the second officer.

Seven civilians and two policemen were wounded, Sediqqi said, adding that 12 foreign citizens were rescued by Afghan forces.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to media outlets.

The attack took place in the Kabul district of Shir Pur, home to many foreign embassies, guesthouses and the homes of high-ranking government officials. It took local security forces more than 10 hours to bring the area back under control.

The Kabul attack came two days after another massive Taliban attack on the main airport in the southern city of Kandahar, which lasted more than 24 hours and killed more than 50 people. The casualties from the Kandahar attack, which ended Wednesday night, included 38 civilians, 10 Afghan soldiers and two police officers, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Separately, a district chief was shot and killed by insurgents in the northern province of Baghlan, said Jawed Basharat, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Abdul Jabar, chief of the Borka district, came under attack on the main road near Puli Khumri, the provincial capital. Basharat said that Jabar's driver and two of his bodyguards were abducted by the insurgents and police forces were searching for them.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for killing Jabar, but Taliban militants have increased their attacks recently on Afghan government officials and security forces.

Heckle reported from Madrid. Associated Press writer Cristina Fuentes in Madrid contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ontario ticket claims $5M Lotto 649 jackpot

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Saturday night's $5 million Lotto 649 draw was claimed by a ticket sold in Ontario. And the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Quebec. The jackpot for the next draw on Sept. Source
  • Airlines rev up to offer discount airfares — but don't be blinded by the price, say experts

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian airlines are lining up to offer the latest trend in air travel: cheap, no-frills fares. But passengers should be careful what they wish for. That's because some may find the discount fares so stripped down, they're just not worth it. Source
  • B.C. joins national trend to clean up political fundraising — and we're paying for it

    Canada News CBC News
    British Columbia is introducing political contribution limits, banning union and corporate donations and asking taxpayers to make up the difference, bringing the province in line with fundraising rules in most other jurisdictions in Canada. Political fundraising in B.C. Source
  • 'Quintessential British treasure:' What next for London's disappearing phone booths?

    World News CBC News
    Like a throwback to a bygone era, bright red phone booths still line the streets of London's central tourist area. These days, they serve much less as a means of communication than as a backdrop for visitors' photos. Source
  • Edmonton Liberian community mourns 3 killed in collision with stolen truck

    Canada News CTV News
    Family, friends and members of Edmonton’s Liberian community are mourning the deaths of three women who were killed in a collision that involved a stolen truck. Jeannette Wright, Glorious Decontee David, Eva Fatu Tumbay and Janet Wright Gaye were on a road trip to visit family and friends in Minnesota when their minivan was struck around 3 a.m. Source
  • RCMP called off chase of stolen truck before 3 killed in crash near Alberta-Sask. border

    Canada News CBC News
    RCMP in Saskatchewan say it called off the police pursuit of a stolen truck that ended up colliding with a minivan and killing three women from Edmonton. On Thursday morning, officers in Maidstone, Sask. Source
  • Prince of the city

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Step aside, John Tory. The real prince of this town has red hair and a cheeky smile. Prince Harry — in Toronto for his Invictus Games — charmed, dazzled, joked, empathized, hugged children, petted dogs and truly lived up to his title as the People’s Prince. Source
  • Iran tests ballistic missile and 'we won't ask anyone's permission'

    World News CBC News
    Iran said on Saturday it had successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres and would keep developing its arsenal despite U.S. pressure to stop. The United States has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, saying its missile tests violate a UN resolution, which calls on Tehran not to undertake activities related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Source
  • Ugo Fredette now in Saint-Jérôme detention centre, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Ugo Fredette is now in a detention centre in Saint-Jérôme after spending nearly a week in two Ontario hospitals and a Quebec hospital, after he was arrested last week in connection with an Amber Alert case. Source
  • Damage in Puerto Rico strains relief efforts by agencies

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Federal agencies grappled Saturday with the vast scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria, the third major storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month. Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. Source