A vehicle bomb exploded near Afghanistan's interior ministry in Kabul on Wednesday and then gunmen exchanged fire with members of the security forces, police said, in what appeared to be the latest in a series of terror attacks in the capital. Five officers were injured.
Both groups have also expanded their footprint in the countryside.
The area around the Afghan Interior Ministry was rocked by several loud explosions and gunfire on Wednesday, in what appeared to be the latest in a series of attacks in Kabul.
During the period of violence, the Afghan National Defense and security forces defeated more than 80 percent of the enemy attacks on district centers, meaning the Taliban failed to achieve their target goals, the general noted. Photographs released by the Interior Ministry show that the attackers had been wearing military uniforms.
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A security source told AFP there had been multiple blasts but could not confirm how many. No one immediately claimed the attack.
The Taliban have held secret meetings with Afghan officials to discuss a ceasefire, the U.S. military says.
Police also said they had found a auto stuffed with explosives and guns at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport near the interior ministry on Wednesday.
The hardline Islamic Taliban movement swept to power in Afghanistan in 1996 after the civil war that followed the Soviet-Afghan war, and were ousted by the US-led invasion five years later.
The Taliban and a local ISIS affiliate have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces, that have killed hundreds of people in recent years.
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Many fearful residents have restricted their movements as a result, afraid to linger in bazaars or to become trapped in traffic during rush hour, a prime time for attacks.
Details of last week's operation emerged as fighting continued in other parts of Afghanistan, where the Taliban, aiming to restore their version of hardline Islamic law, launched their annual spring offensive last month.
A number of civilians' houses were reportedly damaged by the auto bomb.
"As we continue the season of fighting and talking, we will continue to increase pressure on the Taliban and remain vigilant to opportunities for negotiated peace".
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