KABUL, Afghanistan – A car bombing targeted the Iraqi Embassy in central Kabul on Monday, followed by gunfire, Afghan police officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The attack was still underway as witnesses reported hearing gunshots around the site of the explosion. Details were sketchy as police cordoned off the area of the firefight.
Two police officials told The Associated Press that the car bomb exploded outside the embassy, followed by an attempt by gunmen to enter the building, which is located in the center of the Afghan capital. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
It was not immediately clear how many gunmen were involved in the attack. A police officer in the area, who identified himself only as Abdullah, said the gunfire was initially intense but was now sporadic. The area was surrounded by armored vehicles and a large contingent of police and Afghan soldiers.
At least one eyewitness, a store owner who goes by the name of Hafizullah â many Afghans use only one name â said he saw the bodies of two policemen on the ground before armored personnel carriers and police arrived to cordon off the area.
âThe explosion was so strong. I was so afraid,â said Maryam, a woman crying near the site of the attack said. She said she works at the nearby office of Afghanistanâs National Airline Ariana.
The Iraq Embassy is located in a part of the city known as Shahr-e-Now, which lies outside the so-called âgreen zoneâ where most foreign embassies and diplomatic missions are located and which is heavily fortified with a phalanx of guards and giant cement blast walls.
By comparison, the Iraqi Embassy is…