Afghanistan: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Bomb Attack on Iraqi Embassy in Kabul

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul that began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up at the main gate, allowing gunmen to enter the building and battle security forces.

The assault came a week after 35 people were killed in a Taliban attack on government workers in Kabul and underlines Afghanistan's precarious security as the United States considers an overhaul of its policy in the region.

Afghan security forces confronted three gunmen for hours before the interior ministry announced mid-afternoon that the attack, which took place in a busy business district of the capital, had been suppressed.

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"Terrorist attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul over after all terrorists killed," the ministry said in a statement.

Islamic State's Amaq agency said two attackers had blown up the gate, killing seven guards, and two fighters had broken into the compound.

There was no immediate official word on casualties, but an Italian-operated hospital nearby stated that two injured people had been brought in for treatment.

An Afghan policeman keeps watch at the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and insurgents after the attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 31. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

ISIS has carried out a series of high-profile attacks in Kabul, targeting members of the mainly Shiite Hazara community and fueling concerns of a possible spillover into Afghanistan from fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The local branch of the movement, often called Daesh, is known as Islamic State in Khorasan (ISIS-K), after an old name for the region that now includes Afghanistan.

U.S. commanders say it has been severely hit by a campaign of drone strikes and joint Afghan and U.S. Special Forces operations, with hundreds of fighters and commanders killed.

Afghan security officials say the movement operates in as many as nine provinces, from Nangarhar and Kunar in the east to Badakhshan, Jawzjan and Faryab in the north and Baghdis and Ghor in the west.