Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Macron Economics'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism'

Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, militants of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Middle east

Taliban attacks election headquarters ahead of presidential vote

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-29

Taliban insurgents attacked the main Afghan election commission’s Kabul headquarters on Saturday, targeting the fortified compound with guns and rocket-propelled grenades as part of a bloody campaign to disrupt next week’s presidential election.

It was the latest in a series of high-profile attacks that come as the Islamic militant movement seeks to derail the April 5 vote, which it has denounced as a Western-backed “sham”.

Afghan security forces battled the militants for about five hours, while frightened Independent Election Commission (EIC) staff and eight UN employees took refuge in safe rooms inside the compound, a security source and staff members said.

Four militants were involved in the attack, all of whom were killed in the ensuing gun battle, according to an Afghan army general on the scene.

“The fight is over. All four terrorists have been killed. An investigation team is in the area,” said commander Qadam Shah Shaheem, adding that three security force members had been injured in the operation.

Noor Mohammed Noor, spokesman for the IEC, said security had already been increased around the compound because an attack had been widely expected.

Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir Zahir earlier said that up to four attackers had holed up in an empty house about 800 metres away from the election headquarters, which is inside a walled off compound guarded by a series of watch towers and checkpoints.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Foreigners targeted

The Taliban struck another IEC office on the edge of Kabul on Tuesday, with a suicide bomber detonating his vehicle outside while two gunmen stormed into the building, killing four people and trapping dozens of employees inside.

The Taliban have also stepped up attacks on foreigners in the Afghan capital, suggesting that they are shifting their focus to civilian targets that aren’t as heavily protected as military and government installations.

The Taliban targeted an American charity, the Roots of Peace, and a nearby day care center late Friday in the Afghan capital, sending foreigners – including women and children – fleeing while Afghan security forces battled the gunmen. Officials said two Afghan bystanders were killed – a girl and a driver.

Gunmen slipped through security last week into the luxury Serena hotel in Kabul on March 20 with pistols and ammunition hidden in their shoes, then opened fire, killing nine people, including an AFP journalist, his wife and two of his three children who were dining in the restaurant.

A Swedish journalist was shot to death on the street in a relatively affluent area earlier this month, and a Lebanese restaurant popular with foreigners was attacked by a suicide bomber and gunmen in January.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2014-03-29

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban militants launch deadly Kabul guesthouse attack

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Why are Afghan candidates wooing the Hazara vote?

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban gunmen attack Afghan election office near candidate’s home

    Read more

COMMENT(S)