Ex-Helmand governor escapes Taliban raid in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): A former governor on Monday escaped unhurt in a suicide attack on his residence near the Russian Embassy in central capital Kabul, Interior Ministry officials said, as a gun-battle that followed the blast on Darul Aman road continued.
The attack took place on the house of General Naeem Baloch, a former governor of southern Helmand province, shortly after 8pm and the clash continued as of 8:30pm in the heavily-fortified area close to the Afghan parliament, said 119 Police Helpline chief Humayun Aini.
Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesman Najibullah Danish told Pajhwok Afghan News the suicide blast occurred near the Russian Embassy and the gun-battle was ongoing as of 8:30pm. The two officials said information about any casualties would be known later.
But another official told Pajhwok Afghan News a suicide attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at the entrance gate to Baloch’s residence, allowing other gunmen to enter his house. Gunshots were heard for some time, he said.
Naeem Baloch told Pajhwok Afghan News he left home about 20 minutes before the attack took place and that there was no one inside.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, with the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid saying the raid was carried out on an office of the spy service, the National Directorate of Security. He said many were killed in the attack.
But security officials said four people, including two children, were wounded in the incident. Baloch had served as deputy director of the NDS in Kabul and NDS chief for Helmand province.
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