Heavy gunfire rings out in Central Kabul

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An overnight attack on a guesthouse in the diplomatic area of Wazir Akbar Khan district in Kabul witnessed prolonged gunfire and explosions on Wednesday early morning.

No group has claimed the attack; although a tweet allegedly sent by the Taliban hints that the attack is part of the group’s spring and summer offensive despite Kabul’s repeated efforts to reopen peace talks, the AFP news agency reported.

The attackers were immediately surrounded after they entered the guesthouse house, the police said.

Kabul police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi told the AFP news agency, “We have surrounded the area and cornered them [the attackers].”  He further added, “”The attackers wanted to get into Heetal Hotel but failed. They have now taken position among the trees behind the hotel and are firing at security forces.”

The manager of the guesthouse, owned by the family of Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, told AFP over the phone that all guests were in safe rooms and no one was hurt.

In the past few weeks, a new string of attacks by the Taliban has targeted foreigners in Kabul. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), civilian casualties from ground fighting in the first three months of 2015, have increased by eight percent on the same period last year, as reported by Al Jazeera.

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