The attack on the new building of the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan, on the airport road in Kabul, ended after almost two hours when 10 attackers were killed by government forces, a spokesman for the ministry confirmed.
The attack started at around 12.15pm Kabul time when an explosion occurred close to the entrance gate of the ministry. The explosion was followed by gunfire by attackers.
The Ministry of Interior moved to the new building last year - a building which is close to main military bases including the Ministry of Defense and the National Directorate of Security as well as the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Najib Danish, said according to their initial findings, one police force member was killed, and five others were wounded in the attack.
He confirmed that attackers were in military uniform.
“The first explosion maybe was a suicide attack at the first gate but the situation is under control," Danish told TOLOnews in the first hour of the attack.
According to police, the attackers used two armored SUV vehicles – one Land Cruiser and a Ford – to get through check points.
They said the first explosion happened at the first check point close to the gate of the ministry, which enabled them to advance to the next check point.
The vehicles were packed with guns and explosives, police said.
“One of the armored vehicles entered through the check points and another followed the first vehicle. Rockets and ammunition and explosives were inside the vehicle,” said Toryalai, a police soldier.
“The attackers had long hair and started shooting at police force members,” said Mohammad Salim, a police soldier.
The attack lasted about two hours and ended after police special forces arrived. Photographs released by the Interior Ministry show that the attackers had been wearing military uniforms.
According to the ministry, three attackers detonated their explosives while seven others were gunned down by government forces.
“We broke their dream so that they will never try to attack military installations particularly the minister of interior,” Danish said.
Sources have said National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives were prevented by police force members from entering the area to help end the attack. Sources also said police have not handed over the armored vehicles, used by the attackers, to the NDS for investigation.