0657 GMT February 22, 2018
The attack was the latest in a wave of relentless violence in Kabul this month unleashed by the Taliban and the Daesh terror group that has killed scores and left hundreds wounded, AP reported.
Monday’s attack started around 4 a.m., witnesses said, and fighting continued long after daybreak.
A suicide bomber first struck the military unit responsible for providing security for the academy, followed by a gunbattle with the troops, said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry.
At least five terrorists were involved in the morning assault, according to Waziri. Two of the attackers were killed in the gunbattle, two detonated their suicide vests and one was arrested by the troops, he said.
All roads leading to the military academy were blocked by police, which only allowed ambulances access to the site to transfer the wounded to hospitals.
After the gunbattle ended, the security forces resumed control of the area. They also confiscated one suicide vest, an AK-47 and some ammunition, Waziri said.
Waziri insisted, however that “the attack was against an army unit providing security for the academy and not the academy itself.”
Hours later, the Daesh’s affiliate in Afghanistan posted its claim of responsibility on the website of its media arm.
The academy was also attacked in October last year by a Taliban suicide bomber who killed 15 officers.
Both the Taliban and Daesh have stepped up attacks in recent months in Kabul and elsewhere across Afghanistan, including massive bombings staged by militants and terrorists determined to inflict maximum casualties, instill terror in the population and undermine confidence in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government and the country’s security forces.
On Saturday, a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235.
Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak said Sunday that the investigation into the attack indicated that a second ambulance was also involved but had left the area, indicating some would-be attackers may have escaped.
The Taliban claimed the ambulance attack, as well as an attack a week earlier in which militants stormed a hilltop hotel in Kabul, the Intercontinental, killing 22 people, including 14 foreigners, and setting off a 13-hour battle with security forces.
Masoom Stanekzai, the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service, said five suspects have been arrested for their involvement in the hotel attack. A sixth suspect had fled the country, he said.
He also said that four people have been arrested in connection with Saturday’s ambulance attack.