Militants launched a coordinated attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, firing rockets and assault rifles at the heavily guarded compound in a brazen strike in the heart of the capital.
No one at the U.S. Embassy was hurt, but Reuters reported that at least nine people were killed and 23 wounded, including one Afghan journalist who was shot in the leg near the attack. Three Afghan visa applicants and one Afghan guard were also among those wounded.
The last of the six militants was gunned down at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, some 20 hours after the attack began.
Londono and The Post’s Javed Hamdard report from Kabul that the Taliban sent a text message to reporters claiming responsibility for the attack. The Taliban continued to send text message updates of the attacks throughout the day.
The assailants, who launched the attack from a tall building that provided a bird’s-eye view of the U.S. compound, also targeted the upscale district of Wazir Akbar Khan, where several other embassies and NGOs are located, and a school bus. It had no children in it at the time.
Video emerged late Tuesday that showed NATO troops battling the militants:
The Afghan newspaper Tolo posted this video of the streets of Kabul near the attacks.
Follow live updates from journalists and others on the ground:
The attacks appeared be the most brazen in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, and were the third major Taliban assault in the city since June.
On June 28, the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul was attacked by teams of suicide bombers and gunmen, resulting in a standoff that lasted more than five hours. Nineteen people, including eight attackers, were killed.
See a timeline of recent attacks in Kabul here.
The attacks also come as U.S. troops are starting to pull out of the country, “amid concern that the Afghan government is far from ready to take on more responsibility for security,” write Londono and Hamdard.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attacks and said they would not halt the transition of security from foreign to Afghan forces.
“The attacks cannot stop the process from taking place and cannot affect, but rather embolden our people's determination in taking the responsibility for their country's own affairs,” the president said in a statement.