KABUL - At least three policemen and two suicide attackers were killed and six others, including four civilians, wounded in three back-to-back explosions -- followed by gunfire -- in Kabul on Tuesday, security officials said.
One policeman was killed and a taxi driver wounded when four attackers stormed a building under construction in the Abdul Haq Square, said Lt. Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi, the commander of the 101st Asmayee police zone.
Two of the attackers, who started firing rockets at the ISAF compound and government departments after occupying the building, were killed and a clash with two others was ongoing, he told a news conference in Kabul.
He said the building had been encircled by police, with two coalition helicopters flying over the area to kill the attackers as soon as possible.
At about 1.30pm, a string of suicide bombings rocked the Abdul Haq Square, witness Hakim told Pajhwok Afghan News. He had no information regarding casualties.
He said the militants were firing at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office. A slaughterhouse and a government-run printing press also came under fire.
The attackers fired rockets at US embassy and NATO headquarters, a Kabul police officer said.
Afghan and coalition forces immediately responded to the attack, and were still on the scene, ISAF said, adding US troops were providing air support. "There are no reports of ISAF casualties at this time," the NATO-led force said.
A private school vehicle was damaged by one of the rockets. A reporter of the Iranian TV channel, Sada Wa Sima, is said to be among five civilians injured.
As usual, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Their spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the fighters, armed with heavy weapons, were fighting with the security personnel.
Meanwhile, a US embassy spokesperson confirmed the attack in the area, including rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire.
Kerri Hannan said in a statement: "We can confirm there are no casualties at this time among embassy personnel."
A second suicide attack took place at the entrance to the 202nd Shamshad Police Headquarters on the Darul Aman Road, killing one policeman and wounding four others, including three civilians.
Salangi said the third suicide attacker was killed before reaching his target, the first brigade of public order police. The attack caused no other fatalities, according to the commander.
But another police officer, Brig. Gen. Ghulam Rassoul Tarakhel, said the attack on the entrance to the police headquarters killed one policeman and wounded two others.
According to a security official, who did not want to be named, the blast on Darul Aman Road killed one policeman and wounded six others. "Police officer Jan Ali was killed in the blast while chasing the attacker."
A Pajhwok reporter saw the wreckage of an armored vehicle of police and body parts of suicide attackers on the scene.
Witness Abdul Ahmad said the bombings, followed by heavy gunfire, took place at around 3pm.
Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed risibility for the suicide attacks on Afghan security personnel.