April 21 (UPI) — Eleven people died in an explosion and the ensuing gunfight at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in Kabul on Saturday.
The country’s interior ministry said that four civilians and three security force members were killed in the fighting along with four suspects, TOLO News reported. Eight other civilians were wounded during the incident.
Nusrat Rahimi, Afghanistan’s interior ministry representative, said that the suspects entered the communication and information compound, and started fighting with security forces. He said the building, located in the heart of Kabul, is always busy with people.
Security forces managed to evacuate the 18-story building while militants continued their fighting against security forces. The attack started about 11:40 a.m. local time and authorities said at about 5 p.m. that the attack had ended.
The Taliban said that it was not responsible for the attack. The violence shattered several months of calm in Kabul, that appeared to parallel talks between the United States and the Taliban on a possible peace agreement that would end the Afghanistan War.
Taliban officials were scheduled to meet with Afghanistan officials for the first time but it was called off Thursday when the Taliban balked at the roughly 200 people the government wanted to attend the two-day conference.