Daesh suicide bomber attacks Iraqi Embassy in Kabul;

Daesh suicide bomber attacks Iraqi Embassy in Kabul;
An Afghan policeman sets up a perimeter at the site of an explosion in Kabul on July 31, 2017. Afghan security sources said a suicide blast had hit the front of Iraq's embassy in the Kabul. (AFP)
Updated 01 August 2017

Daesh suicide bomber attacks Iraqi Embassy in Kabul;

Daesh suicide bomber attacks Iraqi Embassy in Kabul;

JEDDAH: Daesh on Monday attacked the Iraqi Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gates, followed by three gunmen who stormed the building. There were two or three more large explosions.
The four-hour firefight ended after Afghan security forces said they had killed all the attackers.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said two Afghan employees of the Iraqi Embassy were killed in the attack and three police were injured, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
As the attack unfolded there were conflicting reports of casualties, with a witness saying he saw the bodies of at least two policemen lying on the road outside the embassy soon after the attack began.
The Iraqi chargé d’affaires was rescued from the embassy premises and was whisked away to the Egyptian Embassy, Reuters reported the Iraqi Foreign Ministry in Baghdad as saying.
In its claim of responsibility, Daesh said only two of its fighters were involved, not four as Afghan officials said. The group added that its fighters had killed seven guards.
Najib Danish told AP that all the embassy staffers were safe but that the building had suffered extensive damage, with windows broken and several rooms badly burned.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and said it was the government’s responsibility to protect international missions.
Saudi Arabia condemns terror assault
The Saudi Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the terror attack.
Shaukat Piracha, a Pakistan-based TV anchor and regional affairs expert, said large territories in Afghanistan, especially in the countryside, remain out of bounds for the Afghan government.
“These vast, ungoverned and unmonitored areas provide safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists to thrive and plot attacks,” said Piracha. “These are the same people who also launch attacks against Pakistan.
He said Daesh has become a serious concern and threat “not just for Afghanistan, but all countries in the region.”
He added: “The Daesh leadership will not travel from Iraq or Syria to Afghanistan. These are local Afghan groups that have splintered from other terror groups and are influenced by Daesh propaganda.”
The Iraqi Embassy is located in a part of Kabul known as Shahr-e-Now, which lies outside the heavily fortified Green Zone that contains most foreign embassies and diplomatic missions.
Daesh has been expanding its presence in eastern Afghanistan, and has claimed responsibility for several devastating attacks in Kabul.
First emerging in 2015, the group’s local affiliate, “Islamic State Khorasan Province,” overran large parts of eastern Nangarhar and Kunar provinces near the Pakistan border, where it engaged in a turf war with the Taliban.
US forces in Afghanistan have repeatedly targeted the Daesh affiliate, killing its head Abu Sayed and several senior advisers in a July 11 strike in Kunar, the Pentagon said.
The Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) also targeted Daesh hideouts in Nangarhar, the Afghan Defense Ministry said, though fighting in the area has continued.
Regarding Monday’s attack in Kabul, “Daesh wants to send a message to many states, not just to Iraq, to prove that it is present everywhere... particularly after the victories of the Iraqi security forces in Mosul,” Issam Al-Fili, a professor of political sciences at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, told AFP.
“Attacking embassies is part of the strategy of this kind of group, because embassies represent a strong symbol for the affected states,” he said.