September 13th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Taliban launch coordinated attack in Kabul

Latest CNN reporting here

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on the attack:

"It appears that a number of Afghan civilians have been hurt and we, of course, will do all we can to assist them.  There are no reports of casualties among embassy personnel at this time.  We are following this very closely, also the unfolding situation in the area including at NATO headquarters which, for those of you who have been in Kabul, you know is across the street from our embassy compound."

CIA Director David Petraeus just told a Congressional committee that Afghan forces are clearing the building from where the attack was launched in Kabul.  The attack appeared to involve a “handful” of individuals wearing suicide vests that moved into a building under construction near the embassy and opened fire into the area of the embassy, Petraeus said. He described the attack as involving small arms including rocket-propelled grenades.

Earlier

ISAF puts out a statement:

"A small group of insurgents attacked the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy and International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan headquarters today, firing from outside the compound using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. The attack started around 1:30 p.m. (local).  Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces immediately responded to the attack, and are still on the
scene. Coalition forces are providing air support. 
There are no reports of ISAF casualties at this time.

From Barbara Starr at the Pentagon:

A senior ISAF official said militants have opened fire on the ISAF compound and the nearby US embassy using small arms and rocket propelled grenades. Its believed there are less than 10 insurgents involved in the attack which is being launched from an area outside the secure zone surrounding both areas.

ISAF personnel currently are being told to stay indoors and take cover but there are no casualties the official said. General John Allen, ISAF commander remains on the compound. Air support is being provided overhead by armed coalition helicopters.

The senior official, along with another coalition officer, both confirmed to CNN that there had been intelligence in recent days that insurgents would try to stage a high profile attack in the capital around the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Both officials pointed out that while this attack is considered to be high profile because of the US embassy and ISAF targets, it so far is not considered a ‘spectacular” attack because of the small number of gunmen and limited weapons involved.

The US embassy just posted a security message warning Americans in Kabul about the attack.

From the US embassy in Kabul – The U.S. Embassy can confirm an attack has occurred in the area of the U.S.
Embassy, including RPG and small arms fire.    We can confirm there are no
casualties at this time among Embassy personnel. (U.S. Embassy Spokesperson Kerri Hannan)

ISAF tweet in 6aET hour – Attack underway in area of ISAF HQ/US Embassy. Forces responding quickly. More details to follow.

Afghan government – Sidiq Sidiqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said a police officer has been
killed and security forces have killed "two of the suicide attackers in the
building."

NATO – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Taliban attacks in Kabul
Tuesday were an attempt to derail plans to hand over security responsibility to
Afghan forces in Afghanistan.  "We are witnessing that the Taliban try to test (the) transition but they can't stop it. Transition is on track and it will continue," Rasmussen said.

Taliban – "Our insurgents attacked in Kabul city," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid
told CNN. "Their target is the U.S. Embassy, governmental organizations and
other foreign organizations."


Filed under: Afghanistan • ISAF
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