At least four people have been killed after militants attacked the home of the Afghan defence minister.
Bismillah Khan Mohammadi was not at home on Tuesday as gunmen detonated a car bomb and fired shots near Kabul’s heavily fortified Green Zone. His family was safely evacuated and the attackers killed.
The attack comes as fighting continues in other key Afghan cities, with the UN Security Council calling for an immediate end to the violence. Security officials told the AFP news agency that four people had been killed in the attack, while Italian medical charity Emergency confirmed that 11 people who had been wounded had been brought to its facilities in Kabul, along with the bodies of four people who died.
According to reporters, four attackers were also killed. “Do not worry, everything is fine!” Mr Mohammadi tweeted after the attack. The US State Department said the attack bore “all the hallmarks” of a Taliban attack.
Hours after the attack, crowds of Kabul residents took to the streets and rooftops on Tuesday evening to shout Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) in defiance of Taliban attacks, with videos shared on social media.
Similar scenes were recorded on Monday in the city of Herat, which has also seen heavy fighting in recent days. The Afghan army urged civilians to leave the city ahead of a major offensive against the Taliban, the hardline Islamist group that was driven from power by US-led forces 20 years ago.
Fighting has been continuing in the city for days, with the militants now reportedly in control of most districts. The United Nations and other agencies are warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis.