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Gunmen attack Afghan intelligence training center in Kabul

Gunmen launched an attack on an intelligence training center in Kabul early Thursday, officials said, just a day after a suicide bomber killed dozens of students in the war-weary city.

“Clashes are ongoing and the area is cordoned off by the Afghan security forces,” said Kabul police spokesperson Hashmat Stanikzai on Thursday, August 16. An official at the scene requesting anonymity confirmed the attack.

The firefight erupted near a training facility overseen by the National Security Directorate — Afghanistan’s intelligence agency – with the gunmen holed up in a construction site near residential homes, an official at the scene said.

A live feed on local broadcaster Tolo News showed the area cordoned off with gunfire echoing through the empty streets.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.

The attack comes hours after a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside an education centre in western Kabul, where students were studying for college entrance exams, killing at least 37 people.

It was the latest incident in a blood-soaked week that saw militants deliver crippling blows to government forces across Afghanistan.

The school bombing underscored the price that ordinary Afghans have paid in the grinding conflict as the country reels from a recent uptick in violence, including a massive, days-long Taliban onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni.

Afghan forces appear to have finally pushed Taliban fighters from the strategic provincial capital.

Small pockets of the city began opening up to humanitarian aid Thursday, while partial mobile service returned after telecommunications infrastructure and government buildings were destroyed during the fighting.

The surge in violence comes weeks after Afghans marked an unprecedented country-wide ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces in June, giving some relief to civilians.

The Taliban have not claimed a major assault in the capital for weeks.

Islamic State-Khorasan Province, however, has carried out multiple attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital in recent months, targeting sites ranging from government ministries to a midwife training center.

Turning east: the rise of Islamic State’s Khorasan Province

With reporting from AFP

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