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26.12.2018 Protracted Kabul attack leaves residents terrified
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Yesterday’s deadly attack on two government offices has worried the
residents of Kabul, who said the standoff lasted eight hours and dead
bodies were seen being shifted away from the scene on the day two on
Tuesday.

After two powerful blasts, three gunmen stormed the two government
buildings – the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Social
Affairs, Disabled and Martyrs, killing at least 43 people and wounding 27
others.

The attack started at around 03:15 local time (11:45 CET) when a suicide
bomber blew up his car outside the Ministry of Public Works where two
attackers then entered and the third entered the Ministry of Social
Affair.

The gunmen took many of the employees hostage and exchanged fire with
security forces. Authorities evacuated 350 civilians from the building
before calling off the operation on Monday night.

The worried Kabul residents rushed to the incident site on Tuesday morning
to know about their relatives and friends working in the two ministries.

Government employees who survived the attack had also gathered in front of
their offices to know the fate of their other colleagues.

A Pajhwok reporter who visited the attack area on Tuesday said the smell
of burnt human flesh and explosives was yet to go away.

Mustafa, a Kabul resident, said his cousin was among those killed. “My
aunt will slip into coma if she was told her only son and the bread winner
is no more.”

A Public Works Ministry employee, Ahmad Sami, said he was at office when
all of a sudden an intense gunfire erupted. “When I reached the balcony
and looked at the Ministry of Martyrs and Social Affairs  building, I saw
some security men lying dead on the road.”

He said he saw the three attackers running towards the Public Works
Ministry and before he could inform other colleagues, the attackers fired
at him in the balcony.

At this movement, he ran towards colleagues to rescue themselves before
the attackers reach.

Imran, an 11-year-old resident of the Old Macro Rayan, said the blast and
the firefight shattered their home window glasses and all his family
members stayed awoke the entire night.

“I was there when the attack unfolded, a woman standing near me was hit by
bullets and four hand-cart owners were also killed in the blast.”

Pajhwok reporter knocked at the door of a house in the area to speak to
its residents about the attack, but a man from inside angrily shut the
door and refused to talk.

However, another resident, Najibullah, said he was away from home at the
time of the attack, but his family was there. “It was a horrible attack
which has demoralized the residents.”

Shehla, a woman who was searching for her husband in hospitals, said her
spouse worked as a cook at the Ministry of Public Works and she looked for
him in hospitals first and then arrived at the ministry but did not find
him.

“I will wait here until someone tell me where is my husband,” she said.
She said if her husband had been killed, his four children would become
orphans.

Pajhwok asked relevant organs about the damage caused by the attack, but
they said information in this regard would be shared after an
investigation.
(Pajhwok)


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