Islamic State claimed Iraq embassy attack in Kabul

Vastavam web: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul today and militants breached the compound, Afghan officials said, in a complex hours-long attack claimed by the Islamic State group.All the attackers had been killed and the compound secured roughly four hours after the assault began, Afghanistan’s interior ministry said, adding that all embassy staff were safe and only one policeman wounded “slightly”.Earlier, black smoke billowed into the air above the neighborhood in northwestern Kabul as the sound of gunfire, blasts and ambulance sirens could be heard. Panicked residents, including women and children, could be seen fleeing the area.

The Iraqi foreign ministry in Baghdad said the charge d’affairs was among those evacuated and that it was monitoring the situation with Afghan authorities, without giving further details.The Islamic State’s propaganda agency Amaq released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, saying two members “attacked the Iraqi embassy building in the Afghan city of Kabul”.The embassy is located in northwestern Kabul, in a neighbourhood that is home to several hotels and banks as well as large supermarkets and several police compounds.

The attack is the latest to rock Kabul, which is regularly devastated by bomb blasts and militant assaults, often killing many civilians.The resurgent Taliban claim many of the attacks as they step up their bid to drive out foreign forces with a series of assaults across the country.But the Islamic State group, recently ousted from the Iraqi city of Mosul, have been expanding their footprint in eastern Afghanistan and have claimed responsibility for several devastating attacks in Kabul.US forces in Afghanistan have repeatedly targeted the group, killing its head Abu Sayed and several senior advisers in a July 11 strike in Kunar, the Pentagon has said.

The decision to deploy the so-called Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) also targeted IS hideouts in Nangarhar, according to the Afghan defence ministry, though fighting in the area has continued.The group is believed to be on the back foot in the Middle East, where analysts have said it has lost more than 60 per cent of its territory and 80 per cent of its revenue, three years after declaring its self-styled “caliphate” across swathes of Iraq and Syria.But analysts said today’s attack in Kabul would be seen as a warning to Baghdad after it pushed IS out of Mosul.