KABUL: A series of explosions followed by sustained gunfire shook the Afghan capital on Sunday in what appeared to be a co-ordinated attack by militants on two neighbourhoods frequented by Afghan government officials and their international allies.
The first blasts struck the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood of central Kabul, home to a number of embassies and a NATO base. Gunfire erupted soon after the explosions, forcing people out in the street to quickly take cover. Smoke could be seen rising from a few buildings in the neighbourhood as sirens wailed.
Heavy gunfire continued to shake the capital more than 30 minutes after the initial explosion.
Militants who had staked out positions in a tall building were firing rockets in different directions, according to a reporter at the scene. It was not immediately clear what they were targeting.
At about the same time, residents reported a blast near the parliament building across town. A police officer in the area, Mohammad Assan, said there was an attack involving shooting near parliament.
It was the first attack in Kabul since a shooting inside the Interior Ministry in February in which a ministry employee turned a gun on NATO advisers and shot two soldiers dead. AGENCIES