5 killed by Taliban after attack on international NGO in Kabul
The attack on Counterpart International, a partner to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), lasted nearly six hours and 24 people have been injured, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The siege ended after police Special Forces killed all five attackers, the statement added.
The attack was launched when a car bomb was set off. The assailants then stormed the NGO compound.
Police rescued nearly 200 workers before the attack was over.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), condemned the attack.
UNAMA said the siege was “particularly deplorable” as it deliberately targeted civilians helping Afghans.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and named Counterpart International as the target.
The carnage took place just days after a grand assembly of Afghans called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire beginning with the holy month of Ramadan, which started on Sunday.
The Taliban said continuing the “holy war” in the month of Ramadan “has more merit than other months.” Peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban are continuing in the Qatari capital of Doha.
The attack marks the fifth in Kabul since the beginning of the year.